The Mexican government's human rights commission said Sunday that it will investigate the apparent slaying of a correspondent for Proceso newsmagazine who often wrote about drug trafficking.
Police found the body of Regina Martinez on Saturday
inside the bathroom of her home in the Veracruz state capital, Xalapa. There
were signs of heavy "blows to her face and body," and initial
evidence suggested she died of asphyxiation, the state Attorney General's
Office said in a statement.
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 Veracruz, which has seen escalating violence
committed by warring drug gangs. Proceso said in a story on its website that
she had worked for the magazine for 10 years.
Authorities provided no possible motive for her killing,
which was the third involving a journalist in Veracruz over the past year.
The National Human Rights Commission issued a statement
Sunday decrying violence against journalists. Such violence "also violates
the right of all people to be adequately informed," it said. "This
independent body will follow the actions of the authorities and investigations
to solve this act."
Veracruz government spokeswoman Gina Dominguez said
agents were searching Martinez's home for evidence.
"All lines of investigation will be exhausted. The
fact that she was a journalist is one of them," she told The Associated
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.
Gov. Javier Duarte has ordered an exhaustive
investigation into Martinez's death, he said in a statement.
Police found her body after receiving a tip from a
neighbor that her house had been left open since early in the day.
In addition to Martinez, at least two other journalists
have been found dead in Veracruz in a year, and none of the cases has been
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, as well as his wife and one of his children.
Media watchdogs consider Mexico one of the most dangerous
countries in which to be a journalist.
There is disagreement on the number of journalist
killings. Mexico's 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.