A Mexican reporter has been found beheaded in a torture so gruesome that it was initially thought he had been killed by a speeding train.
Julio Valdivia, 44, wrote about his country’s most violent gangs for a number of years.
He worked for newspaper El Mundo de Veracruz and is the fourth journalist slain in Mexico in 2020.
He was reported missing days before his grizzly death was discovered as calls grow for justice to be served for those who take the life of reporters in south America.
More than 100 journalists have been murdered since 2000 in Mexico, reports Daily Star.
Only a very small number of these often-brutal killings have resulted in convictions.
Hugo Gutierrez, security minister and head of the police in eastern Veracruz state, condemned the “cowardly murder” of the reporter.
“In co-ordination with the state attorney general’s office we will exhaust all resources to find those responsible,” he said in a statement.
His body was found alongside his motorcycle on a train track in a mountainous area of Tezonapa, according to his newspaper.
Valdivia specialised in “nota roja” journalism which focuses on the most extreme crime.
He worked in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz and was found in the remote Tezonapa municipality.
Mexico’s murder rate has been rising every year since 2014 and the country sees some of the most brutal violent crime in the world.
The Veracruz government tweeted: “We condemn the homicide of Julio Valdivia.”
Balbina Flores, the group’s representative in Mexico, told AFP that there must be punishment for those who took the writer’s life.
“All lines of inquiry must be exhausted, mainly those that have to do with his journalism because he worked in an area marked by violence,” he said.
Valdivia “did not have any extra protection as he had not reported any threats to his security”, a local media protection group known as the CEAPP said in a statement.
The group demanded that authorities “shed light” on the murder.