Mexican journalists freed days after being abducted in southern province

Reporters Silvia Nayssa Arce, Alberto Sanchez and Marco Antonio Toledo have been released unharmed, officials say.

Members of the tactical intervention team check the area where Mexican journalist Nelson Matus was murdered
Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, with more than 150 killed since 2000 [File: Francisco Robles/AFP]

Three Mexican journalists, who were abducted over the past week, have been released after authorities launched search operations in the southern province of Guerrero, according to the state attorney general’s office.

The state’s prosecutor said on Saturday that Reporters Silvia Nayssa Arce, Alberto Sanchez and Marco Antonio Toledo were released unharmed.

Toledo, editor of the weekly newspaper El Espectador, was kidnapped by armed men on November 19 in the tourist town of Taxco, while Silvia Nayssa Arce and Alberto Sanchez, reporters for digital media site RedSiete, were abducted from their offices on Wednesday in the same city.

The prosecutor’s office also confirmed the release of Toledo’s wife, Guadalupe Denova, but said the couple’s son, who was kidnapped along with his parents, is still missing.

The Mexican army, police and national guard will “continue with search operations”, it said.

Mexico is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world to practise journalism, according to the organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

On November 16, photojournalist Ismael Villagomez was shot dead in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez. Three people have been arrested over the killing.

At least five other journalists have been killed in Mexico this year, and more than 150 since 2000, according to the RSF.

Guerrero is a hotbed of gang activity and crime, with armed groups frequently carrying out kidnappings for ransom there.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies