The director of a television station in the western Mexican state of Michoacan was abducted, his family has said. Salvador Adame Pardo, a veteran journalist, runs Channel 6TV in the city of Nueva Italia.

A group of armed men grabbed Adame on Thursday grabbed Pardo outside a water-treatment plant he owns, Efe reported.

The AG Office has started an investigation, “but we have to be very cautious in making public that intervention by authorities,” the source said.

Witnesses informed the family that Adame was driven away in a black SUV headed in the direction of the nearby village of Nuevo Corondiro.

Nueva Italia lies in a region plagued by strife among a number of rival drug cartels, including La Nueva Familia Michoacana, Los Viagras, Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel, and Los Caballeros Templarios.

Adame decided several years ago that Channel 6TV would no longer cover gangland violence, seeking to avoid reprisals by the criminals.

In April 2016, Adame and his wife, fellow journalist Frida Urtiz Martinez, were detained and beaten by Michoacan state police after they filmed the cops violently evicting a group of women protesters from Nueva Italia city hall.

Earlier this year, Adame said he was a nephew-in-law of Nueva Italia’s former mayor, Casimiro Quezada Casillas, who has been missing since last October.

Six journalists have been slain in Michoacan over the past 11 years, and an equal number have disappeared.

On Tuesday, members of the media took to the streets in cities across Mexico to protest the killings of a prominent journalist and an employee of a weekly newspaper.

A group of journalists gathered at Mexico City’s iconic Angel of Independence monument to protest the murders on Monday of reporter Javier Valdez and media company employee Jonathan Rodriguez.

The 50-year-old Valdez, known for his coverage of Mexico’s drug war, was gunned down in the northwestern city of Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, while walking near the offices of Riodoce, a newsweekly he helped found.

A few hours later, Rodriguez, who worked for a newsweekly in the western state of Jalisco, was shot dead in an attack that wounded his mother, the publication’s deputy editor.

Photojournalist Gabriela Esquivel, one of the organisers of the protest in Mexico City, criticised “the impunity” that surrounds the killings of journalists in Mexico, where seven members of the media have been murdered this year.

“It doesn’t matter that they keep killing us and killing us. This can go on and the federal government isn’t interested,” Esquivel said.

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