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Dismembered bodies of 2 journalists found in Mexico

By the CNN Wire Staff
May 4, 2012 -- Updated 1041 GMT (1841 HKT)
A vehicle transporting the remains of two news photographers arrives at the morgue in Veracruz, Mexico, on Thursday.
A vehicle transporting the remains of two news photographers arrives at the morgue in Veracruz, Mexico, on Thursday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: All four bodies found in Veracruz have been identified
  • The bodies bore signs of torture, officials say
  • The find occurred on World Press Freedom Day

Mexico City (CNN) -- At least two of four dismembered bodies found Thursday morning in the eastern state of Veracruz and bearing signs of torture were journalists, Mexican authorities said.

The journalists were identified as Guillermo Luna Varela and Gabriel Huge, who had been reported missing Wednesday, said Sandra Garcia, a spokeswoman for the state government.

The governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte de Ochoa, said in a statement that the other two bodies were identified as Esteban Rodríguez Rodríguez and Irasema Becerra. It was not immediately clear whether they were also journalists.

It said Duarte had met with the secretary of public security, Arturo Bermudez Zurita, and with the attorney general, Felipe Amadeo Flores Espinosa, and ordered them to investigate the case and punish those responsible.

Dangers faced by journalists in Mexico

The bodies were found inside four bags in a canal; the victims appeared to have been tortured, the state's attorney general said, according to CNN Mexico.

"By the characteristics of the crime, one presumes that organized crime was involved in the commission of these homicides," the attorney general's office said in a statement.

Luna Varela worked as a photographer for veracruznews.com.mx, and Huge "dedicated himself to private activities," it said.

Their relatives said they had been missing since Wednesday, the statement said.

The bodies were found by naval police in the Zamorana Canal in the city of Boca del Rio, where two abandoned trucks were found last November containing 35 bodies.

The discovery of the photographers' bodies occurred on World Press Freedom Day and four days after Regina Martinez, a reporter for the weekly Proceso magazine, was found strangled in her house in Xalapa, Veracruz.

Since 2000, a total of 76 journalists have been killed in Mexico -- not counting Martinez or the two photographers -- according to data from the National Human Rights Commission.

CNN's Nick Valencia contributed to this report.

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