Young photojournalist killed and mutilated in northern Mexico

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  • April 25, 2013

By Alejandro Martínez

Update 2: Anonymous journalists in Saltillo told the magazine Proceso that a representative from the Coahuila state prosecutor knew in advance where to find the bodies of Martínez and Zamora.

According to the magazine, the authorities passed the area twice where Claudia Elodia Brondo Morales, regional officer for the Coahuila state Attorney General, told them they would find the corpses. Authorities found them on their third sweep, reported Proceso.

Proceso's report did not include comments from Brondo Morales or state officials.

Update: The newspaper Vanguardia published an editorial critical of authorities for alleging that Martínez and Zamora were associated with a criminal gang and demanded that they present evidence, reported the magazine Proceso.

"The [Attorney General] irresponsibly interpreted the signs (messages found on the bodies) affirming that the victims had been members of and deserted a criminal organization," said the newspaper.

Original: Photographer Daniel Alejandro Martínez Bazaldúa for the newspaper Vanguardia in Saltillo, Mexico, was identified on Thursday as one of two people killed in the early hours of Wednesday, April 24, reported CNN México.

Martínez, 22 years old, was found with another young man, Julián Alejandro Zamora Gracia, 23 years old, at 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning in the border city, reported Vanguardia. Both bodies were found dismembered and without identification.

Martínez had worked for a month as a lifestyle photographer for the newspaper. The last time he was seen was Tuesday, April 23, when he left to get his assignments for the day, reported the newspaper. Martínez never made it to the events he was supposed to cover after 6 p.m.

According to Proceso, signs were found along with the bodies saying that both men had belonged to and deserted a criminal organization.

Vanguardia asked the authorities to investigate the killings and determine if Martínez's work as a journalist motivated them.

"For the victims' families, there are no words to dull their pain but together with them we demand that these crimes be solved and punished," said the newspaper in a statement. "Mired in the chaos, this publication laments the savage violence that strikes Mexico today and urges that this case not go unpunished."

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.