A journalist was kidnapped by gunmen Wednesday in Allende, a town in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz, a representative of the Notisur newspaper told Efe.

Gregorio Jimenez de la Cruz, a police reporter for the Notisur and Liberal del Sur newspapers, was abducted around 7:15 a.m. outside his residence in Allende, a town near the city of Coatzacoalcos, Notisur representative Sayda Chiñas Cordova said.

Jimenez de la Cruz was kidnapped as he returned home after taking his children to school, Chiñas Cordova said.

State police, the army and the marine corps have been notified of the kidnapping and the journalist's family is safe, Chiñas Cordova said.

Jimenez de la Cruz had reported in the past few days on a wave of kidnappings in Allende, which is separated from Coatzacoalcos by a river, the newspaper executive said.

The Zetas drug cartel, considered Mexico's most violent criminal organization, and other gangs operate in the oil-producing region.

Nine journalists have been murdered, at least three have gone missing and about a dozen others have left Veracruz since 2011 due to the drug-related violence in the state.

Mexico, where more than 84 journalists have been murdered since 2000, according to the National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, is the most dangerous country in Latin America for members of the media. EFE