Protesters demand justice in killing of Mexican crime reporter

The killing of a Mexican crime reporter in the eastern state of Veracruz sparked outrage and protests as the public demanded a thorough investigation and punishment for those responsible. Journalist Regina Martínez, correspondent for the Mexican newsmagazine Proceso, was found dead in her home on Saturday, April 28, reported the BBC News.

Via an anonymous call, the police of the city of Xalapa found the reporter's body in her bathroom with signs of beating and strangulation, reported the Huffington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Martínez had more than 30 years of experience in journalism, and the past 10 years she had worked as a correspondent for the investigative newsmagazine Proceso, one of the most important political weeklies in Mexico, according to El Informador.

The killing happened in the capital of the state of Veracruz, considered one of the 10 most dangerous places in the world for journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders, because three journalists were killed in that state during 2011. A recent report by the freedom of expression organization Article 19 said that most of the attacks against the Mexican press happen in Veracruz.

Just hours after the crime, 100 journalists and news organizations protested in Mexico City, demanding the killing to be investigated and calling for an end to the impunity in the unsolved cases of of 74 journalists killinged in Mexico since the year 2000, reported Proceso.

Organizations such as Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Journalists on Foot, as well as foreign correspondents and the Carlos Septién School of Journalism signed a statement condemning Martínez's killing. “Verbal promises, the creation of prosecutors, and laws to protect journalists have no worth. Mexico has become one of the most dangerous countries in the world for reporters,” the statement said.

The organizations also said that “this is not an isolated criminal case, but the result of repeated abuses, impunity, and threats against freedom of expression and the right to information in Mexico."

Meanwhile, the newsmagazine Proceso, which keeps a critical position against the government, said that it had to constantly keep anonymous the names of reporters because they cover security and organized crime issues. Proceso also reported on several occasions about massive purchases of magazine copies to prevent the newsmagazine from circulating in some cities of Mexico, according to the Center for Journalism and Public Ethics.

The governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte, assured the directors of the newsmagazine that state authorities would investigate the crime to the end, but journalists remained doubtful and decided to get involved with the investigation , and request the intervention of the Attorney General of the Republic, according to the news agency EFE.

See this Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas map of attacks against the Mexican press.