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From London to a Football Field, Protests Spread Against 'Genocide in Mexico'

Protests sparked by the killing of a news photographer in Mexico City have spread to London, Madrid, and several Mexican states, as journalists called for an end to violence and censorship against their work.

by Daniel Hernandez and Gabriela Gorbea
Aug 6 2015, 7:55pm

Imagen vía Twitter

Sports photographers in Buenos Aires held a brief demonstration before an internationally televised championship soccer match in the wake of the Mexico City massacre that took the lives of a photojournalist and four others.

"Enough with the genocide in Mexico," read signs held up by sports photojournalists on the field before the match between Argentina's River Plate and Mexico's Tigres clubs, in the Copa Libertadores final.

The demonstration was brief, but pictures of the photographers holding their signs spread fast.

Demonstrations have spread this week in response to the killings in Mexico City on July 31 of photojournalist Ruben Espinosa, activist Nadia Vera, and three other women who still have not been formally identified. The victims were tortured, shot in the head, and three of the women were raped.

Espinosa is the 14th journalist from the state of Veracruz to be killed since December 2010, and the seventh killed so far this year across Mexico. Mexico is now called the most dangerous country in Latin America to practice the profession.

Related: A Photojournalist Fled Veracruz Under Threat, But Murder Found Him in Mexico City

On Wednesday, a group of demonstrators gathered outside the Mexican embassy in Madrid, holding white flowers and pictures of Espinosa and Vera, while they read a poem written by the mother of one of the murdered women. The event was organized by the Spanish club of the "I Am 132" student movement, in which Vera was active in Veracruz.

Another small group of demonstrators honored the victims of the killings outside the Mexican embassy in London.

Demonstrations haven't stopped in Mexico since Sunday, with people taking to the streets to demand justice and more protection for reporters. Groups of people have repeatedly protested outside the Veracruz government offices in Mexico City, blanketing the property with graffiti and signs calling Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte a "murderer."

Espinosa and Vera claimed men linked to the governor were following and harassing them before they were killed.

Related: Women Killed Alongside Mexican Photojournalist Were Tortured and Raped 

Outside the Mexico City apartment building where the killings took place, a group of mourners held a vigil, lighting candles and chanting in memory of the five victims.

Mexico City prosecutors said they've arrested one man in connection to the case, but have not released any further details.

Ruben Espinosa's pet dog Cosmo also attended his funeral on Monday. (Photo by Marco Ugarte/AP)

In Veracruz, where Espinosa lived for eight years and worked before threats forced him to flee, reporters and citizens pushed into a session of the state's congress on Wednesday, asking representatives to halt the aggressions against them.

"We are here because, once again, one of our colleagues has been cunningly murdered," read the statement written by Veracruz journalists' union. "We speak in present tense because we still can't take in the fact that impunity, lack of action, corruption, indifference, and the government's incompetence took him away from us."

Similar demonstrations took place in the states of Jalisco, Oaxaca, Baja California, Guerrero, Chiapas, Michoacan, and the State of Mexico, reports said. In all cases, reporters held up their cameras and other tools of their trade, and carried photos of Espinosa as well as shots of cameras splattered with blood.

On Wednesday, a legislator in Mexico's lower house proposed to the Mexican Congress that governor Duarte be called to testify before its permanent commission to describe what actions he is taking to protect reporters in his state.

Related: Murdered in Mexico State: The Silent Epidemic of Women Killings in Mexico

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