Murder in Mexico: journalists caught in the crosshairs  – The Guardian

Murder in Mexico: journalists caught in the crosshairs – The Guardian

The 2012 killing of Regina Martínez, who was investigating links between organised crime and politics, began a wave of violence in the most dangerous country to be a reporter

Regina Martínez Pérez was considered an enemy of the state. The 48-year-old journalist had made powerful foes investigating allegations of collusion between political leaders, security forces and narcotraffickers in the Mexican region of Veracruz.

She was a source of irritation for four consecutive state governors, highlighting violence, abuses of power and cover-ups in the pages of Mexico’s foremost investigative news magazine, Proceso.

Her stories highlighted horrific episodes such as the case of an elderly indigenous woman who was beaten, raped and left for dead by soldiers, and the torture and massacre of passengers on a local bus.

Known to her friends as La Chaparrita or “Shorty”, Martínez was a 4ft 11in chain-smoker who found solace tending her garden. She was also a fearless investigator of gangland executions, police assassins, forced disappearances, and corruption schemes.

“Her work was her life,” said close friend and colleague Norma Trujillo. “She was really interested in social issues, human rights violations. She was close to the people. That was her superpower.”

The funeral of Regina Martínez in 2012. Rubén Espinosa, the photographer who took this picture, was himself murdered in 2015.
The funeral of Regina Martínez in 2012. Rubén Espinosa, the photographer who took this picture, was himself murdered in 2015. Photograph: Rubén Espinosa//Procesofoto

Martínez was murdered on 28 April 2012 in her modest bungalow in the state capital, Xalapa. She fought back but was overpowered by an assailant who beat her badly and broke her jaw before asphyxiating her with a dishtowel.

Read the full article: Murder in Mexico: journalists caught in the crosshairs

Courtesy: The Guardian