The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed sorrow and condemned the killing of two photographers and a reporter in Mexico, whose bodies were found today just as World Press Freedom Day was being celebrated. These events bring to four the number of members of the press put to death in that country in less than a week.
The dismembered and brutalized bodies of news photographers Gabriel Huge and Guillermo Luna and of reporter Esteban Rodríguez were discovered within garbage bags in a residential area of the port of Veracruz. The families of Huge and Luna (an uncle and a nephew) were unaware of their whereabouts since yesterday and filed a missing persons report with the authorities, according to inquiries made by the IAPA’s Rapid Response Unit in Mexico.
The body of a woman named Irasema, who was identified as an employee of the Veracruz newspaper El Dictamen, was also found in Veracruz under similar circumstances. The Veracruz state government has asked the Mexican Attorney General’s Office to undertake the investigation of these events. Given the nature of the crimes, the involvement of organized crime is presumed.
IAPA President, Milton Coleman, declared, “We are in mourning as we learn today about these new crimes, which are added to the murder last weekend of Regina Martínez, also killed in Veracruz, Mexico. What should have been a day of celebration and world recognition of the work of the press has become a day of frustration in the face of a wave of violence that seeks to silence journalists.”
Huge and Luna left the city of Veracruz last year after the murder of two of their colleagues, Miguel Ángel Vela and Yolanda Andrade, who were working for the local newspaper Notiver. Huge and Luna decided to return a few months ago and since then had been working for the news site www.veracruznews.com.
On the other hand, Rodríguez stopped working as a journalist last year after receiving threats while working for Notiver. His death was believed to be linked to his past work within the press.
During their time at Notiver, the three men covered the police beat.
Regina Martínez, correspondent of the magazine Proceso, was also killed last week in Veracruz.