Bodies of two Mexican photographers found dismembered

The dismembered bodies of two Mexican photographers were found inside a vehicle on the afternoon of Sunday, Aug. 19, on a highway in the central state of Michoacán, reported the newspaper El Universal.

The state authorities confirmed the killing of Arturo Barajas, police news photographer for the newspaper Diario de Zamora, and of José Antonio Aguilar Mota, social and tourism events photographer, according to La Jornada.

An editor for Diario de Zamora told the news agency AFP that Barajas covered organized crime, such as multiple homicides, army confrontations, body searches, drug factories, and narcotic confiscations.

The bodies of both photographers were found half-naked, showing torture signs, with a bullet wound to the head, and were found in the city of Ecuandureo, on the state border with Jalisco, according to the newspaper Provincia. Their family members said that the photographers had left their houses on Thursday, Aug. 16, to cover a social event, which they were hired for as photographers, reported the newspaper Cambio de Michoacán.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for the press, where 95 journalists have been killed since the year 2000, according to several press organizations. The killings in Barajas make a total of eight journalists killed in Mexico during 2012.

For more information, see this map about attacks against the Mexican press made by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.