A vehicle transporting the remains of two news photographers arrives at the morgue in Veracruz, Mexico, on Thursday.
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A vehicle transporting the remains of two news photographers arrives at the morgue in Veracruz, Mexico, on Thursday.

Story highlights

NEW: All four bodies found in Veracruz have been identified

The bodies bore signs of torture, officials say

The find occurred on World Press Freedom Day

Mexico City CNN —  

The governor of Mexico’s eastern state of Veracruz vowed Friday to create two organizations – one to help the victims of organized crime and the other to protect journalists.

The journalists, who had been reported missing the day before their bodies were discovered, were identified as Guillermo Luna Varela, Gabriel Huge and Esteban Rodriguez.

The governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte de Ochoa, said in a statement that the other two bodies were identified as Esteban Rodríguez Rodríguez and Irasema Becerra. It was not immediately clear whether they were also journalists.

It said Duarte had met with the secretary of public security, Arturo Bermudez Zurita, and with the attorney general, Felipe Amadeo Flores Espinosa, and ordered them to investigate the case and punish those responsible.

The bodies were found inside four bags in a canal; the victims appeared to have been tortured, the state’s attorney general said, according to CNN Mexico.

“By the characteristics of the crime, one presumes that organized crime was involved in the commission of these homicides,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement.

Luna Varela worked as a photographer for veracruznews.com.mx, and Huge “dedicated himself to private activities,” it said.

Their relatives said they had been missing since Wednesday, the statement said.

The bodies were found by naval police in the Zamorana Canal in the city of Boca del Rio, where two abandoned trucks were found last November containing 35 bodies.

The discovery of the photographers’ bodies occurred on World Press Freedom Day and four days after Regina Martinez, a reporter for the weekly Proceso magazine, was found strangled in her house in Xalapa, Veracruz.

Since 2000, a total of 76 journalists have been killed in Mexico – not counting Martinez or the two photographers – according to data from the National Human Rights Commission.

CNN’s Nick Valencia contributed to this report.