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Marco Antonio Avila, Mexican Crime Reporter, Murdered And Stuffed Into A Garbage Bag

Reuters  |  Posted: Updated: 05/19/2012 9:59 am


CIUDAD OBREGON, Mexico, May 18 (Reuters) - The corpse of a crime reporter was found stuffed into a garbage bag in a suspected gangland killing in the northern Mexican state of Sonora, prosecutors said Friday.

Police officers located the body of Marco Antonio Avila on the side of a rural road the day after he was kidnapped by a group of gunmen at a car wash in the nearby town of Ciudad Obregon, said Jose Larrinaga, spokesman for the state prosecutor's office.

The body showed signs of torture and a threatening note typical of those used by drug gangs was left at the scene, Larrinaga said.

Avila covered police and crime issues for the local paper Diario de Sonora and had reported on drug-related violence.

Sonora, which borders Arizona, lies on a key smuggling route for the Sinaloa cartel, led by Mexico's most wanted man, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman.

The murder follows the killing of three journalists in the eastern state of Veracruz over the past month.

In total, more than 70 journalists have been murdered in Mexico in the last decade, according to the government-funded National Human Rights Commission.

Drug cartels are thought to be behind many of the murders, but very few of the cases have been solved.

Last year, Mexico was the third deadliest country in the world for journalists after Pakistan and Iraq, according to counts by Reporters Without Borders. (Reporting by German Osuna and Ioan Grillo; editing by Todd Eastham)

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  • Soldiers and investigators remain at the

    Soldiers and investigators remain at the place where plastic bags with the corpses of two news photographers who had disappeared Wednesday mid-afternoonwere found, in the Mexican city port of Veracruz, Mexico on May 3, 2012. Mexican security forces found the dismembered bodies of missing news photographers Guillermo Luna Varela and Gabriel Huge and two other people in bags dumped in a canal in the eastern state of Veracruz, officials said Thursday. The bodies of the photographers, who worked for the Veracruznews photo agency, also showed signs of torture. AFP PHOTO/ Lucas CASTRO (Photo credit should read LUCAS CASTRO/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Firefighters and rescuers retrieve plast

    Firefighters and rescuers retrieve plastic bags with the corpses of two news photographers who had disappeared Wednesday mid-afternoon in the Mexican city port of Veracruz, Mexico on May 3, 2012. Mexican security forces found the dismembered bodies of missing news photographers Guillermo Luna Varela and Gabriel Huge and two other people in bags dumped in a canal in the eastern state of Veracruz, officials said Thursday. The bodies of the photographers, who worked for the Veracruznews photo agency, also showed signs of torture. AFP PHOTO/ Lucas CASTRO (Photo credit should read LUCAS CASTRO/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Firefighters and rescuers retrieve plast

    Firefighters and rescuers retrieve plastic bags with the corpses of two news photographers who had disappeared Wednesday mid-afternoon in the Mexican city port of Veracruz, Mexico on May 3, 2012. Mexican security forces found the dismembered bodies of missing news photographers Guillermo Luna Varela and Gabriel Huge and two other people in bags dumped in a canal in the eastern state of Veracruz, officials said Thursday. The bodies of the photographers, who worked for the Veracruznews photo agency, also showed signs of torture. AFP PHOTO/ Lucas CASTRO (Photo credit should read LUCAS CASTRO/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A vehicle transporting the corpses of tw

    A vehicle transporting the corpses of two news photographers who had disappeared mid-afternoon Wednesday, arrives at the morgue in the Mexican port city of Veracruz, on May 3, 2012. Mexican security forces found the dismembered bodies of missing news photographers Guillermo Luna Varela and Gabriel Huge and two other people in bags dumped in a canal in the eastern state of Veracruz, officials said Thursday. The bodies of the photographers, who worked for the Veracruznews photo agency, also showed signs of torture. AFP PHOTO/Lucas CASTRO (Photo credit should read LUCAS CASTRO/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A member of Naval Police stands guard at

    A member of Naval Police stands guard at the entrance of the morgue in the Mexican port city of Veracruz, where the bodies of two news photographers who had disappeared mid-afternoon Wednesday, are being kept on May 3, 2012. Mexican security forces found the dismembered bodies of missing news photographers Guillermo Luna Varela and Gabriel Huge and two other people in bags dumped in a canal in the eastern state of Veracruz, officials said Thursday. The bodies of the photographers, who worked for the Veracruznews photo agency, also showed signs of torture. AFP PHOTO/Lucas CASTRO (Photo credit should read LUCAS CASTRO/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A member of Naval Police (L) and another

    A member of Naval Police (L) and another of Swat, stand guard at the entrance of the morgue in the Mexican port city of Veracruz, where the bodies of two news photographers who had disappeared mid-afternoon Wednesday, are being kept on May 3, 2012. Mexican security forces found the dismembered bodies of missing news photographers Guillermo Luna Varela and Gabriel Huge and two other people in bags dumped in a canal in the eastern state of Veracruz, officials said Thursday. The bodies of the photographers, who worked for the Veracruznews photo agency, also showed signs of torture. AFP PHOTO/Lucas CASTRO (Photo credit should read LUCAS CASTRO/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Colleagues and relatives carry the coffi

    Colleagues and relatives carry the coffin of Mexican journalist Regina Martinez, during her funeral in Xalapa, Veracruz State, Mexico, on April 30, 2012. Martinez was found dead in her house last April 28, showing signs of strangulation. AFP PHOTO/Sergio HERNANDEZ (Photo credit should read SERGIO HERNANDEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Colleagues and relatives carry the coffi

    Colleagues and relatives carry the coffin of Mexican journalist Regina Martinez, during her funeral in Xalapa, Veracruz State, Mexico, on April 30, 2012. Martinez was found dead in her house last April 28, showing signs of strangulation. AFP PHOTO/Sergio HERNANDEZ (Photo credit should read SERGIO HERNANDEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A woman stands next to the coffin of Mex

    A woman stands next to the coffin of Mexican journalist Regina Martinez, in Xalapa, Veracruz State, Mexico, on April 29, 2012. Martinez was found dead in her house last April 28, with signs of strangulation. More than 40,000 people have been killed in rising drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon deployed soldiers and federal police to take on organized crime. AFP PHOTO/SERGIO HERNANDEZ (Photo credit should read SERGIO HERNANDEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Journalists and students protest the mur

    Journalists and students protest the murder of Mexican journalist Regina Martinez, in Xalapa, Veracruz State, Mexico, on April 29, 2012. Martinez was founded dead in her house last April 28, with signs of strangulation. More than 40,000 people have been killed in rising drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon deployed soldiers and federal police to take on organized crime. AFP PHOTO/SERGIO HERNANDEZ (Photo credit should read SERGIO HERNANDEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Journalists and students protest the mur

    Journalists and students protest the murder of Mexican journalist Regina Martinez, in Xalapa, Veracruz State, Mexico, on April 29, 2012. Martinez was founded dead in her house last April 28, with signs of strangulation. More than 40,000 people have been killed in rising drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon deployed soldiers and federal police to take on organized crime. AFP PHOTO/SERGIO HERNANDEZ (Photo credit should read SERGIO HERNANDEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Journalists and students protest the mur

    Journalists and students protest the murder of Mexican journalist Regina Martinez, in Xalapa, Veracruz State, Mexico, on April 29, 2012. Martinez was founded dead in her house last April 28, with signs of strangulation. More than 40,000 people have been killed in rising drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon deployed soldiers and federal police to take on organized crime. AFP PHOTO/SERGIO HERNANDEZ (Photo credit should read SERGIO HERNANDEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Journalists and students protest the mur

    Journalists and students protest the murder of Mexican journalist Regina Martinez, in Xalapa, Veracruz State, Mexico, on April 29, 2012. Martinez was founded dead in her house last April 28, with signs of strangulation. More than 40,000 people have been killed in rising drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon deployed soldiers and federal police to take on organized crime. AFP PHOTO/SERGIO HERNANDEZ (Photo credit should read SERGIO HERNANDEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Members of the Police and Service Forens

    Members of the Police and Service Forense of the Veracruz gather outside the house of Mexican journalist Regina Martinez, in Xalapa, Veracruz State, Mexico, on April 28, 2012. The Mexican journalist Regina Martinez was founed dead inside her house. More than 40.000 people have been killed in rising drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon deployed soldiers and federal police to take on organized crime. AFP PHOTO/Sergio Hernandez (Photo credit should read Serigio Hernandez/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Mexican soldiers arrive at a house of Me

    Mexican soldiers arrive at a house of Mexican journalist Regina Martinez, in Xalapa, Veracruz State, Mexico, on April 28, 2012. The Mexican journalist Regina Martinez was founed dead inside her house. More than 40.000 people have been killed in rising drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon deployed soldiers and federal police to take on organized crime. AFP PHOTO/Sergio Hernandez (Photo credit should read SERGIO HERNANDEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Polices of Veracruz State gather outside

    Polices of Veracruz State gather outside the house of Mexican journalist Regina Martinez, in Xalapa, Veracruz State, Mexico, on April 28, 2012. The Mexican journalist Regina Martinez was founed dead inside her house. More than 40.000 people have been killed in rising drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon deployed soldiers and federal police to take on organized crime. AFP PHOTO/Sergio Hernandez (Photo credit should read SERGIO HERNANDEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

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Filed by Jack Mirkinson  |