Mexican journalists forbidden from attending slain colleagues' funerals as precautionary measure

After the killing of four Mexican journalists in Veracruz in less than a week, a few local news media managers ordered their reporters not to attend the funerals of their colleagues as a precautionary measure, reported the news agency AFP.

"We know the threat is still present because bodies keep appearing," said a reporter to AFP.

Five of the eight journalists killed in Veracruz in the last 10 months worked for the local newspaper Notiver, which stopped publishing reporters' bylines on stories related to crime and security issues, reported the newspaper Diario de Juárez. However, Notiver reproduced the stories from the news magazine Proceso, signed byreporter Regina Martínez, who was killed April 28.

Months before the killing, the journalist reported that her computer and money were stolen from her home after someone broke in, reported the Diario de Juárez.

In 2007, the local newspaper Politica fired the journalist for reporting about an indigenous woman who was raped and killed by military men. Martínez disproved the official version that stated that the woman had died of natural causes, according to the newspaper Diario. Regina Martínez covered topics of general interest, from organized crime to governmental corruption at the state level, reported CNN México.

Until now, state authorities say that everything points toward organized crime being responsible for the killing of the journalists, according to the news agency DPA. However, the three photographers killed had reported threats by the state police and Martínez had mentioned threats from the state governor in 2010.

During November of 2011, a local newspaper was set on fire by armed men and the owner blamed the mayor for the crime. After the attack, the state prosecutor confiscated the videos of the fire to obstruct the investigation of the case.

Journalist Jorge Carrasco also reported that the news magazine Proceso would “disappear” from the news stands in Veracruz every time criticism was published about the government of Veracruz, according to CNN México.

After hundreds of journalists throughout Mexico protested against the recent crimes against their colleagues, the state governor Javier Duarte announced the creation of a new body that would provide protection to journalists, reported Proceso.

Proceso assigned a journalist to follow the investigation into Martínez's death to ensure the crime did not remain unsolved, reported CNN México. So far, none of the murderers of the journalists in Veracruz, nor the attacks against news venues, has been resolved. Because of this, Veracruz is considered one of the most dangerous places for journalists in Mexico. It also is ranked as the most dangerous city for the press in the Americas.