Journalist from Mexican newsmagazine found dead

AP News
Posted: Apr 29, 2012 1:06 AM
Journalist from Mexican newsmagazine found dead

A correspondent with Mexican newsmagazine Proceso was found dead inside her home in Veracruz state on Saturday and authorities believe the journalist who often wrote about drug trafficking was murdered.

Regina Martinez's body was found by police inside the bathroom of her home in the state capital, Xalapa, and there were signs of heavy "blows to her face and body," the state's Attorney General's Office said in a statement. Authorities said initial evidence suggested she died of asphyxiation.

Martinez was the Xalapa correspondent for Proceso, one of Mexico's oldest and most respected investigative newsmagazines, and she often wrote about drug cartels in the area. Proceso said in a news story on its website that she had worked there for 10 years.

Authorities provided no possible motive for her killing.

Veracruz government spokeswoman Gina Dominguez said agents were searching Martinez's home late Saturday for evidence.

"All lines of investigation will be exhausted. The fact that she was a journalist is one of them," she told The Associated Press.

Recently Veracruz has been plagued by cartel violence, some of it between the powerful Zetas and the so-called Jalisco Cartel New Generation, which is believed to be linked to the Sinaloa cartel. The coastal state is also on a human trafficking route north to the United States.

Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte has ordered an exhaustive investigation into her death, he said in a statement.

Police found Martinez's body after receiving a tip from a neighbor that her house had been left open since early in the day.

In the past year, at least three journalists have been found dead in Veracruz, including Martinez.

In July 2011, a reporter on police matters with the newspaper Notiver, Yolando Ordaz de la Cruz, was found with her throat cut.

A month earlier, gunmen killed Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco, a columnist and deputy editor with Notiver. He was shot together with his wife and one of his children.

Media watchdogs considered Mexico one of the most dangerous countries in which to be a journalist.

There is disagreement on the number of journalist killings. Mexico's national human rights commission says 74 were slain from 2000 to 2011. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says 51 were killed in that time.