Mexican journalists question truth of murder trial

It is very rare for anyone in Mexico to be arrested for murdering a journalist, let alone appear before a court. So the trial in Veracruz of a man charged with killing Regina Martínez Pérez should be a reason to celebrate.

But, according to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), it looks as if the state "is fabricating a murder case against the wrong people."

Citing unnamed "federal officials" as its source, the report says that the man who originally confessed to the murder, Jorge Hernández Silva, has since retracted his confession, claiming that he had been tortured while his mother was also threatened with death if he did not confess.

If true, this would confirm the view of Martínez's former colleagues, the magazine she worked for, other local journalists - and even federal officials - that Hernández is a scapegoat.

They believe the truth is being covered up, pointing out that none of the forensic evidence links Hernández and a supposed accomplice to the crime. They were said to have strangled her to death on 28 April this year while carrying out a theft.

But few items were stolen, with many other valuables having been ignored, suggesting that theft was not the reason for her murder.

Hernández's magazine, Proceso, assigned a reporter, Jorge Carrasco, to cover the case. He said: "At no point did the state ever consider Regina's journalistic work as a possible motive for her murder."

Sources: CPJ/The Guardian

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  • masuk11

    5 November 2012 3:24PM

    The chances are that he is a scapegoat. The sad thing is I doubt that there is anyone who can help Hernández. Who protects people who claim to have been tortured or coerced into confessing? Nobody.

  • rgrabman

    5 November 2012 8:51PM

    This is an unfortunate by-product of our justice system here... with pressure (especially international pressure, as when a prominent journalist is murdered), the tendency is to pin the rap on the usual suspect. Police and justice reforms are slowly being made in Mexico, the emphasis on slowly.

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