Cuban independent journalist Alberto Mendez Castello, correspondent for the Spain-based Diario de Cuba, has gone missing after he left his home Wednesday morning to cover a story, according to DDC.
Mendez's wife told DDC that he had left their home in Puerto Padre, Las Tunas, for Majibacoa to interview Sirley León Ávila, a member of a local governing entity who had complained that the needs of her constituency were being ignored by the government.
Real journalism -- and not producing the transcriptions provided by official state, communist media -- is a dangerous profession in Cuba, with its precepts about speaking truth to power and all thast. Mendez is at least the second independent journalist to disappear this week.
DDC reported that Mendez was under constant surveillance by Cuban police, and that he had been arrested and detained on numerous occasions, most recently during the visit to the island of Pope Benedict XVI.
His wife said it had been more than 10 hours since she had heard from Mendez, and that when she inquired at a local police station, she was told Mendez was not there -- or at any other police station in the country.
DDC said it had tried to contact its correspondent, but that his cell phone had been disconnected.