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Missing Mexican journalist found decapitated, city mayor accused

By
Andrew V. Pestano
Moises Sanchez was abducted outside his home by gunmen on Jan. 2. Photo courtesy of Sanchez's family
Moises Sanchez was abducted outside his home by gunmen on Jan. 2. Photo courtesy of Sanchez's family

MEDELLIN, Mexico, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The decapitated body of journalist Moises Sanchez has been found after his abduction three weeks ago.

A former police officer confessed to the murder and said the mayor of the city of Medellin, Omar Cruz, ordered the assassination. The body was discovered Saturday in Medellin's outskirts in Mexico's Veracruz state.

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Sanchez was a social activist who covered drug-related violence and corruption for a newspaper in Medellin.

El Universal reported that officials interviewed 60 people and inspected vehicles during the investigation after Sanchez was kidnapped outside his home on Jan. 2.

Six people are accused of involvement in his kidnapping and subsequent slaying. The police department in the city is accused of being involved in drug trafficking.

A man identified as "Clemente Noe N" said he killed Sanchez on orders that originated from the mayor that were delivered by Martin Meneses, subdirector of Medellin's police department and the mayor's bodyguard.

Cruz was accused of threatening Sanchez before.

The mayor has immunity from prosecution, but government attorneys seek to have that immunity dismissed to press charges. Cruz has not commented on the allegations.

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Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights said Veracruz is one of the most dangerous states in Mexico for journalists. More than 97 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2010.

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