Two women from the world of Mexico City journalism were abducted and slain, their naked, bound bodies found Thursday in a field behind a cemetery, authorities said.
Although dozens of journalists have been killed, kidnapped or threatened as part of Mexico’s spiraling violence, this appears to be the first time news media employees have been slain in the relative safe harbor of Mexico City.
It was not immediately known whether the attacks on the women were related to their work. The treatment of the victims followed the pattern of hits ordered by drug gangs.
The women were identified by authorities as Ana Marcela Yarce Viveros, a veteran reporter who helped found the scrappy news magazine Contralinea and who more recently took charge of its public relations department, and Rocio Gonzalez Trapaga, a former reporter for Mexico’s dominant TV broadcaster, Televisa.
Gonzalez had been working as a freelance reporter, Contralinea said; other reports said she had been running a money exchange at the Mexico City airport and on Wednesday had withdrawn a large amount of cash.
The bodies of the women, both said to be in their 40s, were found in a working-class section of Mexico City. Their hands and feet had been tied, the city’s justice department said. There were indications that they had been strangled, city prosecutors said.
Friends said the women were longtime friends and had last been seen having coffee together Wednesday night at a cafe near downtown Mexico City.
“This violence is reaching all Mexicans … including journalists,” Miguel Badillo, editor of Contralinea, said in a radio interview. “A terrible crime.”
Before this, at least six journalists were killed in Mexico this year, and more than 60 since the government’s war against drug cartels began in December 2006, according to human rights organizations. The Committee to Protect Journalists ranks Mexico as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for reporters because they are increasingly targeted by drug cartels or corrupt local governments.
Many Mexican journalists have “self-censored,” choosing to refrain from reporting on the activities of the cartels in their cities to avoid problems.