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Two missing photojournalists found dead in Mexico

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VERACRUZ, Mexico — Mexican security forces Thursday found the dismembered bodies of two missing news photographers and two others in eastern Veracruz, days after a magazine reporter was killed in the same state.

Federal forces found “four bags with the remains of four people, with two of them so far identified as (missing journalists) Guillermo Luna Varela and Gabriel Huge,” said a statement from the Veracruz state government.

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The dismembered and tortured bodies were dumped in a canal, it said.

The grim discovery on World Press Freedom Day brought to three the number of journalists killed in less than a week in Veracruz, shining a spotlight on Mexico’s dire record for protecting journalists amid a brutal drug war.

The state government blamed the latest deaths on an “organized crime gang,” without elaborating.

The photographers, who covered crime stories for the Veracruznews photo agency, disappeared mid-afternoon Wednesday, according to local Notiver daily.

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Both of them previously worked for Notiver. A reporter from that newspaper, Miguel Angel Lopez, was killed last June with his wife and son.

The latest deaths brought to seven the number of journalists killed in Veracruz since the start of 2011, including reporter Regina Martinez from news magazine Proceso, who was found beaten and strangled to death at her home in the state capital Xalapa last Saturday.

Martinez’s colleagues said her murder was likely linked to her stories on drug traffickers and local corruption.

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Many crime reporters have fled Veracruz in recent years amid threats and turf battles between the Zetas drug gang — set up by ex-army officers-turned-hitmen in the 1990s — and allies of the Sinaloa cartel of billionaire fugitive Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

The government of President Felipe Calderon sent federal forces to Veracruz last October as part of a controversial military crackdown on organized crime which has been accompanied by a spike in violence.

The killings of journalists in Veracruz and other violence-hit areas have provoked outrage in Mexico and abroad but few signs of serious investigations.

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Last Sunday, hundreds of people protested in Xalapa seeking a full probe into Martinez’s death and slamming attacks on freedom of expression in the state.

At least 77 journalists have been murdered in Mexico since 2000, according to the state-run Human Rights Commission.

“The authorities don’t react as they should” to threats against journalists, even after the recent adoption of a law promising to protect media workers, according to Mexico’s Cencos watchdog.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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The last weekend in August marks the start of Burning Man, a week-long, festival in the Nevada desert consisting of freewheeling performance art, fanciful costumes, and a lot of drugs. The anarchic party with more than 50,000 attendees constitutes a pilgrimage for many attendees, lured by the promise of leaving the “default world” behind in exchange for a transformative or even spiritual experience.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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WATCH: Trump’s collusion with Russia is now a topic for impeachment — along with obstruction and racism

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President Donald Trump's interactions with Russia are now a topic of the impeachment investigation.

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"Congresswoman Lauren Underwood of Illinois is one of the freshmen Democrats who flipped a Republican district last year in winning her election. She brings the total number of House Democrats supporting impeachment now to 126 -- a majority of the Democrats' 235 members of the House," he explained.

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