After broadcasting a stunning report on November 26 alleging that 31 high school students were kidnapped in the Mexican city of Cocula, FRANCE 24 issued the following December 4 retraction on its site:
FRANCE 24 reported that 31 students were abducted in July by armed men in the Mexican city of Cocula. The facts of the alleged incident have since been challenged. We have therefore decided to remove this report from our website.
In a TV report broadcast on November 26, a woman identified as “Rosa” from the southern Mexican city of Cocula told FRANCE 24 that her 15-year-old daughter and about 30 other students were kidnapped by a criminal group on July 17.
After verifying the report with several sources, FRANCE 24 found the information was reliable enough to be broadcast.
But questions have since emerged about the version of events recounted by Rosa. FRANCE 24 has therefore decided to remove the report from its website.
We apologise if this report has caused harm or inconvenience. Nevertheless, we maintain our confidence in our correspondent in Mexico who does her job with integrity and honesty in a dangerous environment amid threats from organised criminal groups.
While the report is no longer on the news outlet’s web site, it is still on the FRANCE 24 YouTube channel as of this morning. Since November 26, that video has gotten over 129,000 views. In addition, the outlet’s social media accounts did not share the retraction.