Víctor Fernando Álvarez Chávez, a journalist based in Acapulco, Guerrero, went missing on April 2 and has not been found. He was the editor-in-chief of Punto x Punto, a news website in Guerrero. His family confirmed to press freedom organizations that he received death threats by organized crime members in Acapulco prior to his disappearance.
A day before went missing, Álvarez Chávez published an article about the discovery of four corpses on a highway in Taxco and the murder of a female attorney in Acapulco. His disappearance comes a few days after the murder of Maria Elena Ferral, a female journalist who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Veracruz after receiving death threats.
Álvarez Chávez was born in Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico, on 27 July 1969. According to his Facebook page, he studied at the Autonomous University of Guerrero and lived in his hometown. He was the editor-in-chief of Punto x Punto, a news website based in Guerrero. According to their website, they have been writing news articles for twelve years and have covered various topics in Guerrero.
Borderland Beat analyzed several of their latest publications to see if any of them reported cartel activity. We noticed that they have a specific crime section titled “Reporte Ciudadano y Denuncias” (Civilian Reports and Complaints). Judging by the title, it is likely that they sometimes published sensitive criminal information through anonymous tips.
A day before his disappearance, Álvarez Chávez published the discovery of four bodies in Taxco along the federal highway connecting Mexico City with Acapulco. He reported that several banners were left at the scene with a message from the perpetrators. He also published another article detailing the murder a female attorney in Acapulco.
Details surrounding his disappearance are scarce, but press freedom organizationArticle 19 confirmedthat Álvarez Chávez received death threats by cartel members in Acapulco a few days before he went missing.
Álvarez Chávez was seen for the last time in Renacimiento neighborhood in Acapulco. His family issued a missing person filer online with his physical characteristics in hopes of finding him. On Twitter, Guerrero state authorities asked civilians to help locate him.
The last time he was seen by his family members and friends, Álvarez Chávez was wearing a blue shirt with black pants and shoes. He did not tell anyone where he was going, and his family members told investigators that he does not own a cell phone.
Mexico continues to be the most dangerous country in the Western Hemisphere for journalists. Over 100 journalists have been killed and dozens more have gone missing since 2000. Like in most criminal cases in Mexico, the vast majority of these incidents remain unsolved and with few perpetrators arrested and/or convicted. Note: Multiple sources were used for this report. For better readability, they were linked in the body paragraphs above.