MEXICO CITY – A photographer who was found dead in Mexico City had been tortured before his death, according to a group advocating for journalistic freedom.
The organization known as Article 19 says Ruben Espinosa sustained severe injuries to his face and was shot twice.
Espinosa was found dead late Friday along with four women, three of whom lived in the apartment in the middle-class Narvarte neighborhood near the center of the city, according to the Mexico City prosecutor's office. The fourth woman was a domestic employee, the prosecutor's statement said. It said identifications and cause of death were still being verified.
The head of Article 19, Dario Ramirez, says the women also were tortured and showed signs of sexual assault.
The photographer worked for the investigative magazine, Proceso, and other media. He had fled to the capital in June after being harassed in his home state of Veracruz.
Espinosa had recently gone into self-exile from the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, where he felt under threat, according to Proceso. His family had lost contact with him on Friday and by Saturday the free speech advocacy group Article 19 had called on Mexican authorities to activate the protocols for locating a missing journalist.
Espinosa's killing has raised tension among reporters who long have considered the city to be a refuge from media intimidation and violence elsewhere in Mexico.
Veracruz has been a dangerous state for reporters. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 11 journalists have been killed there since 2010, all under Gov. Javier Duarte, the most recent just a month ago. Two others, including Espinosa, were Veracruz journalists found dead outside of the state.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.