Late Friday, state prosecutors said in a statement police had found three oil drums containing human remains along a highway connecting the port city of Veracruz with Xalapa after receiving an anonymous tip. They offered no other details.
In this undated picture killed photojournalists Guillermo Luna Varela, left, and Gabriel Huge pose for pictures in Veracruz, Mexico.
Grieving, frightened journalists remembered three slain colleagues on Friday as young and energetic members of a press corps working under terrifying conditions in a state torn by a war between Mexico’s two most powerful drug cartels.
Traffic dwindled from the streets and shopping areas emptied hours after the discovery Thursday afternoon of Guillermo Luna Varela, Gabriel Huge, Esteban Rodriguez and Irasema Becerra, who had been slain, dismembered and stuffed into black plastic bags dumped into a waste canal.
It was a sense of dread familiar to Veracruz, where a cartel battle for control of one of Mexico’s largest ports has spawned horrors such as the slaughter of 35 people dumped on a main highway in rush-hour traffic in September.
The state is a common route for drugs and migrants coming from the south on the way up to the United States. Much of the area around its main port city on the Gulf of Mexico was controlled until last year by the Zetas, a brutal paramilitary-style cartel founded by defectors from the Mexican army special forces and known for its gruesome butchery of opponents.