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Another investigative journalist killed in Veracruz

A woman investigative journalist working for a prominent national news magazine was found beaten and strangled to death in her home in the Veracruz state capital of Xalapa on 28 April, report ARTICLE 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the International Press Institute (IPI) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Regina Martínez spent more than a decade at "Proceso", a weekly publication considered to be one of the country's leading sources for coverage of organised crime and drug trafficking. One of the last articles she published covered the arrest of nine police officers in Veracruz believed to be colluding with traffickers, report IPI and RSF.

Authorities who were sent to the journalist's home after neighbours noticed that her front door had been open all day found Martinez's body in the bathroom, "Proceso" reported on its website. it appeared that her TV, cell phones, and computer had been stolen, report RSF and CPJ

According to IPI, "Proceso" published a seething response to Martinez's murder, calling her death "the result of a rotten country, of a situation of everyday violence in which extreme acts are not the exception but the daily rule … this crime underscores the environment of hostility and even of harassment in which the independent press is obliged to carry out its work."

Demanding a full investigation into the crime, the magazine added, "An act of aggression against any member of this publishing house is an attack against 'Proceso' and against the constitutional right to inform."

Since the Governor of Veracruz Javier Duarte took office in December 2010, five journalists have been killed and not one of their cases has been solved, reports ARTICLE 19. The state is a battleground for two organised crime cartels, the Zetas and the Sinaloa, and journalists say there is widespread corruption in local government, says CPJ.

In March, Mexico's Senate approved a bill that would federalise crimes against journalists, and on Sunday the office of the Interior Secretary issued a statement expressing the federal government's "full preparedness to collaborate on, if necessary, investigations undertaken by the authorities in the state of Veracruz" in Martínez's case.

News of Martínez's death came as IPI released a special feature on the state of Mexican journalists written by Marcela Turati, herself an investigative reporter at Proceso. In her piece, Turati describes how Mexican journalists have become war correspondents within their own country.

Mexico was the world's most dangerous country for the media last year, with 10 journalists murdered because of their work there in 2011, according to IPI's Death Watch. According to RSF, 80 journalists have been murdered in the past decade.

Mexico appeared in 8th place in CPJ's 2012 Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are slain and their killers go free.

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