Mexico City – Two Mexican female journalists were killed and their bodies dumped in a park on the southeast side of this capital, the editor of muckraking news magazine Contralinea said.
Rocio Gonzalez Trapaga - who had worked for several years for Televisa, Mexico's leading TV broadcaster - and Contralinea's Marcela Yarce Viveros disappeared Wednesday night and their bodies were found Thursday in a park in the Mexico City borough of Iztapalapa, Contralinea editor Miguel Badillo said.
Sources close to the magazine said the women were naked and had been strangled.
"We don't know why," an evidently shaken Badillo said. "They were very good friends and had arranged to meet (Thursday evening) and afterward there was nothing from them until (Friday morning) when their bodies were found in Iztapalapa.
Contralinea, a news magazine with a history of reporting on official corruption, said the journalists "were killed between the night of Aug. 31 and the morning of Sept. 1, 2011. Their bodies were found in a park in the Iztapalapa borough of Mexico City."
"The team of journalists at this media outlet, with profound sadness but also with indignation, demands that authorities solve these lamentable crimes," the magazine said in an editorial in which it also expressed solidarity with the journalists' family and friends.
Last year, burglars entered Contralinea's offices in Mexico City and stole files and financial data, as well as the editor's laptop computer.
Security measures were subsequently adopted to protect journalists at that media outlet.
Mexico is considered the most dangerous country in Latin America for journalists. As recently as Aug. 25, journalist Humberto Millan Salazar was found slain in the northwestern state of Sinaloa after he had been kidnapped the day before.
The deaths of these two female reporters bring to 74 the number of Mexican journalists killed since 2000, according to rights organizations.
According to the press watchdog group Article19, Mexican journalists are in danger due to "rampant impunity," which signals to "perpetrators that there are no consequences for (killing a reporter)."
"This lack of protection from the Mexican state has forced journalists to opt for a silence that infringes on society's right to information," Dario Ramirez, Article19's director for Mexico and Central America, told Efe.
The climate of violence and impunity "puts the press in a corner, where it's left muzzled, silenced and with justifiable fear," Ramirez said.
This sustained violence against the press "is generating a clear lack of information, irrespective of whether or not we know the motives. The message is clear: to seek to silence this sector," he added.
Ramirez said the double murder marks the first killings of journalists in the Mexican capital in almost three decades, since the 1984 slaying of columnist Manuel Buendia.
"The press in Mexico has always been more vulnerable outside the big cities, especially Mexico City. Vulnerability is greater in (less heavily populated areas)," he said.
Article19 says that eight Mexican journalists have been killed this year and that from 2000 to the present 74 have been slain. Eleven reporters have gone missing since 2003, while that organization has helped nine others who were victims of threats leave the country.
For his part, Mariano Morales, a member of the board of the Foundation for Freedom of Expression, said impunity in the slayings of journalists fuels even more violence against them.
He said the killings take place in a murky context in which some of these crimes can be covered up and attributed to organized crime elements.
Regrettably the killings of journalists are likely to continue if impunity persists, Morales said, adding that few of these cases are solved.