Luis Martín Sánchez Iñíguez
1964 - 2023
Journalist Luis Martín Sánchez Iñíguez, was reported missing on 5 July 2023 by his family members and three days later, July 8, his body was found in El Ahuacate, a suburb of Nayarit’s state capital of Tepic. Sánchez was a correspondent in the for the Mexico City-based national newspaper La Jornada, and a reporter for the digital media Crítica Digital Noticias (CDN).
According to a statement by the Nayarit state prosecutor’s office (FGE), his body showed “signs of violence,” and that two pieces of cardboard with handwritten messages were left with the remains. According to several news reports, one said, “You can write whatever you want, but don’t mess with the family.”
La Jornada and CriticaDN, where Sánchez was also a contributor, reported that Sánchez’s wife Cecilia López first noticed that he had gone missing on the evening of Wednesday, July 5. He had returned home alone to his residence in Tepic following a family visit with her in a nearby town, but once he was no longer answering his cell phone, López’s son went to check the residence. He discovered that his father was missing, along with his laptop, cell phone, his La Jornada press card; hard disks of local correspondents had also disappeared from his office, according to his wife's declaration, when they realised he had disappeared.
Sánchez, who was 59, joined La Jornada a year and a half ago as a correspondent in Nayarit, according to news reports. He had previously also worked for as a spokesperson for the FGE, according to news reports and Karina Cancino, a reporter based in Tepic.
CPJ found one story with Sánchez’s byline in the online archives of La Jornada, a January report about Mexican federal authorities taking DNA samples from family members of disappeared people in Nayarit. CPJ was unable to find stories with his byline on the website of CríticaDN. CPJ sent requests for comment via messaging app to editors at both publications but did not receive replies.
Several reporters based in Nayarit have told CPJ that journalists in the state often do not use bylines out of fear of reprisal for their reporting, especially when covering crime and violence.
Relatives of the journalist, shared their feelings in an article in La Jornada, in which they highlighted that the crime of Luis Martín is linked to his informative exercise: The truth did not make my father free, the truth killed him!, because he did not leave, they took him!, and if he was not afraid, neither did we.
In addition to recounting the rituals to commemorate the life of Luis Martin, his relatives demanded that the authorities clarify the facts.
On 10 July 2023, media workers in Nayarit signed a letter with the participation of 366 journalists and 17 networks of journalists and civil organizations in the country, in which they demand that the safety of all communicators working in the 20 municipalities of Nayarit be guaranteed. The journalists demand the authorities speed up the protection measures for the families of the journalists, all the investigation processes, prosecution, and information related to the cases. The violence against the profession and to demand a stop to impunity since "they kill anyone, and the murders go unpunished".