Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dismembered Remains of 3 Reporters Found in Veracruz-Total of 6 This Year

by Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat

PGJ Veracruz confirms the murder of journalists.  Dismembered remains found in trash bags. Latest information is that all four worked for newspapers...
Boca del Rio. - The bodies of Notiver photojournalists Gabriel Huge and Guillermo Luna were found Thursday morning in the river channel of The Zamorano, said the Attorney General of the State (PGJE).

Including these a total of eight murders against journalists during the administration of Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa, six of the murders were from this past year.

The total of seven murders also includes the killing of Proceso journalist Regina Martinez which occurred on April 28, when her dead body was discovered in her home. Ms Martinez often reported crimes and actions of cartels, and misconduct of Veracruz politicians and the corruption of same. In fact her last two articles  were of those two subjects.

According to early police reports, the bodies of the the Notiver reporters were found along with two other bodies this morning in the vicinity of Las Vegas II. The remains were inside black bags only the two reporters were identified at this time, however some publications are reporting that in fact three of the four killed** were reporters. Reports have been published that the bodies reflected signs of torture and were dismembered.
Journalists March
Relatives of Huge and Luna reported them missing to Veracruz authorities last Thursday April 27th, (The day before Martinez’ murder) after calls to their cell phones failed. Multiple calls to their their cell phones received no answer and no return calls. That their calls would go unanswered or replied to, was extremely unusual.

Notiver became concerned after the two men failed to meet at the Notiver office on Wednesday at 3PM as scheduled to meet associates and go out on the filed to cover a report.

Authorities were discreetly conducting an investigation and search operation.

Huge had just arrived in Veracruz, after self-exile subsequent to the killing of another Notiver reporter Yolanda Ordaz last July. The remains of Ordaz were dumped outside the  Rotativo Imagen del Golfo, a local Newpaper.

In June 2011 the Notiver reporter and columnist Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco was executed along with his son, Ismael Lopez. Lopez was a photographer for Notiver. Miguel’s wife was also killed.

Last week forty Veracruz journalists have created a group that has demanded an investigation of the killings and that those responsible be brought to justice.

On last Sunday following the killing of Martinez, members of the journalists union, academic and social groups gathered at the state capital Xalapa marched through the city’s main streets crying out for a successful investigation and justice in the Martinez murder, and security for all journalists, as attack and killing of journalists is an attack and death to the freedom of expression.

Previously national and international groups have also raised the demand for justice, but so far the Veracruz attorney general’s office has failed to resolve any of the murders.
Sources used to create this post: AFP, Notimex-El Economista AP
Gabriel Huge as masked police arrest him in 2008  (Notiver photo)
A look at the employment history of the reporters killed..They had received threats

      Gabriel Huge
GABRIEL HUGE: Worked as photojournalist for more than decade at Veracruz newspaper Notiver until last August, when he and at least 12 other news people left state after July slaying of Notiver reporter Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz. Had recently returned to work.

 In 2008, filed complaint against group of federal police officers who detained him and beat him to stop him from photographing car accident involving federal police

ESTEBAN RODRIGUEZ: Worked as photojournalist for Veracruz newspaper AZ. Resigned last August and left state. Had returned, but also went to work as welder.
        Guillermo Luna
GUILLERMO LUNA: Was Huge's nephew, according to local media. Local journalists last saw him Wednesday afternoon covering car accident for news website

Like Huge and Rodriguez, had left Veracruz state in August 2011 after receiving threats.
The body of Irasema Becerra, described by authorities as Luna's girlfriend, was discovered with the three photographers. Becerra was a secretary in the advertising department of a Veracruz newspaper

**Update: The Attorney-General of the State of Veracruz on the identification of the other two bodies being Irasema Becerra and Esteban Rodriguez.
According to the information provided by the family members, Irasema was in a romantic relationship with Luna.  
Esteban Rodríguez, according to the data obtained, was working in a mechanical workshop as welder. However since  August of 2011, he served as a photographer for a local newspaper.  Proceso is reporting that the female worked at another newspaper; el diario El Dictamen, de Veracruz.
Read Buggs' post of Regina Martinez investigation HERE