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A Prominent Mexican Anti-Corruption Blogger Has Gone Missing

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, September 17 2012

A prominent Mexican anti-corruption blogger has gone missing, reports Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Ruy Salgado, a.ka. "El 5anto" (@el5anto), founded the blog el5uantario, which uses multi-media platforms (video, social media and straight digital reporting) to report on corruption-related issues in Mexico.

The video channel usually features Selgado, wearing a superhero-style mask to disguise his identity, addressing the camera directly.

El5antuario reports that Salgado has been missing since September 8.

RSF acknowledges that Salgado may have disappeared "voluntarily," but adds, "Every day that passes without his reappearing rightly increases the concern about his fate."

El 5antuario’s supporters and contributors have announced that, if Salgado does not turn up within 48 hours, they will file a missing person’s report with the authorities and provide all the information needed for a judicial investigation.

El 5antuario, which did a lot of reporting during the controversial 1 July election, has specialized in covering corruption within government institutions. Some of its contributors work for these institutions and are direct witnesses of the corruption.

As a safety measure, El 5antuario’s contributors are anonymous. They use pseudonyms, do not know each other personally and wear masks when they appear in a video. Salgado nonetheless reported that he and his blog had been the target of serious threats in recent months.

RSF reported earlier this month that freedom of the press has absorbed some serious blows since the July election of Enrique Peña Nieto, 45, of the veteran PRI party, which identifies as centrist. PRI was routed from office 12 years ago by voters who were no longer willing to tolerate the party's notorious corruption and patronage.

Allegations of fraudulent ballot counting in the 2012 elections have been leveled by several sources, including the Guardian newspaper. There are also substantial allegations that Televisa, the world's largest Spanish-language television station, had an inside deal with the PRI candidate to slant their coverage in his favor.

Mexico is an extremely dangerous and hostile place for journalists. Over the past decade, 85 journalists have been killed and another 15 have disappeared. During the period leading up to the election, three journalists disappeared — including Zane Alejandro Plemmons Rosales, 30, a freelance reporter who was a dual citizen of Mexico and the United States.

Personal Democracy Media is grateful to the Omidyar Network for its generous support of techPresident's WeGov section.

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