Guillermo Luna Varela

Beats Covered:
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Luna's body was found with three others in a canal in Boca del Rio, Veracruz state, on May 3. All of the bodies had been dismembered and showed signs of torture. Luna, a news photographer who specialized in the crime beat, had gone missing on May 2, along with another victim, his uncle Gabriel Huge Córdova, a freelance photojournalist. The other two victims were Esteban Rodríguez, a former news photographer, and Irasema Becerra, an acquaintance of Huge and Luna.

Luna and Huge had both formerly worked as photographers for the local daily Notiver. After the murders of three Notiver journalists last year, the two fled Veracruz along with other local journalists, news reports said, but soon returned. Luna had worked as a photographer for the website Veracruznews for the past six months, Martín Lara Reyna, the site's owner, told CPJ.

Rodríguez had also quit his job at the local newspaper AZ after the murders and had taken up work as a welder, according to local journalists and news reports.

A federal official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the day after the murders that all of the journalists on the police beat in Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz state, as well as in the cities of Veracruz and Boca del Rio, had been offered local police protection. CPJ has documented a mixture of negligence and pervasive corruption among law enforcement officials, particularly at the state level.

State authorities have launched an investigation into the murders, according to news reports. Veracruz, which is a battleground for the Zetas and Sinaloa cartels, is one of Mexico's most dangerous states for the press, according to CPJ research.

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