Mexican journalist Alberto Lopez Bello, who covered the police beat for the largest newspaper in the southern state of Oaxaca, was found dead on Wednesday, authorities said.

The discovery of two bodies near the village of Trinidad de Viguera was reported at around 7:00 a.m., the state Attorney General's Office said in a statement.

Another person identified as Arturo Alejandro Franco was found slain next to the El Imparcial reporter.

The newspaper lamented and condemned Lopez Bello's death in a statement on its Web site.

El Imparcial urged authorities to clear up the homicides, saying they demonstrate how vulnerable reporters are "in their daily work of promptly and truthfully informing the citizenry."

Oaxaca Gov. Gabino Cue instructed state Attorney General Manuel de Jesus Lopez to treat the killing of the reporter as a high-impact crime and channel the case to a special unit for crimes against journalists.

Detectives attached to the Oaxaca AG's office and personnel from the state's Public Safety Department traveled to the crime scene to begin their investigation.

Mexico, where more than 80 media professionals have been slain since 2000, is the world's second deadliest country for journalists, according to Paris-based Reporters Without Borders. EFE