The controversial governor of the Mexican state of Veracruz will testify in the ongoing investigations into the murder of five people in Mexico City just over a week ago, among them the photojournalist Ruben Espinosa.
The photographer of investigative magazine Proceso had reported death threats from that region, while activist Nadia Vera, who died alongside Espinosa and three other women, told a local television station that if she were killed, Governor Javier Duarte would be responsible.
The multiple homicide provoked strong reactions from journalism organizations and human rights activists, who also blamed Duarte for the death of Espinosa, and for negligence in the investigations of around 12 previous cases of crimes against journalists in the state of Veracruz. Vigils and protests have taken place around the world in protest against the oppression of free speech.
The Mayor of Mexico City, Miguel Angel Mancera, said Monday that Duarte was willing to cooperate with investigatons taking place in the capital, where the crime took place July 31.
“In the telephone conversation he reiterated that there is a disposition to offer facts on behalf of the governor of the state, and in that context I have commented with him that we require to have a direct statement from the governor,” Mancera told the press.
Since Duarte took office in 2010, 14 journalists have been killed and five have gone missing in Veracruz. The attorney general's office said under Duarte, journalism-related deaths have been on the rise.
Duarte sent a menacing message to Veracruz-based journalistsin July at a public event in honor of Free Speech Week, arguing “Please behave, I beg you. It's for your own good.”
Activist Nadia Vera told a local television station if she was killed, Governor Javier Duarte would be to blame.
Last week, Mexico City prosecutors announced that they charged Daniel Pacheco with the death of the five victims, along with robbery.
Pacheco, 42, has confessed he was at the apartment at the time of the crimes, but Mexico City's attorney general's office did not give any further details.
WATCH: Mexico: Protests Hit Killing of Photojournalist, Activist, and Others