A photojournalist was among five people killed Friday in a Mexico City apartment but as of yesterday robbery was suspected to be the principal motive, a Federal District prosecutor said at a press conference.
Rubén Manuel Espinosa Becerril, a photographer who worked for the news magazine Proceso and the photo agency Cuartoscuro, and four women were tortured and then shot and killed in the Narvarte neighborhood.
Espinosa, 31, had lived in Mexico City for two months after moving from Veracruz, where according to interviews he gave a month ago, he felt threatened by state Gov. Javier Duarte.
The photographer had worked at documenting the activities of social movements largely critical of the Institutional Revolutionary Party government, and had taken a photograph of the governor which ran early last year on the cover of Proceso along with the headline, “Veracruz, lawless state.”
Duarte himself expressed regret for the murder and his confidence in Federal District authorities to solve the crime as quickly as possible. Thirteen journalists have either been killed or have disappeared in Veracruz since 2011.
Although robbery is seen as the motive for Friday’s murders, prosecutor Rodolfo Ríos said his office is working with the Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression, a branch of the federal Attorney General’s office.
“All lines of investigation are open,” he said.
There were protests yesterday in Mexico City, the Veracruz capital of Xalapa and other cities where journalists and others called for justice for Espinosa. Photojournalists from Cuartoscuro carried placards reading “Out with Duarte!”
The other victims were an 18-year-old makeup artist, a cultural promoter aged 32, a 40-year-old domestic worker and a 29-year-old whose occupation was unknown.