New book: Murder of journalist in Mexico is the story of widespread corruption
Airdate: Friday, October 21, 2022
Journalists in the U.S. have come under criticism and have been targeted verbally and sometimes physically in our highly politically-charged society. But the First Amendment freedom of the press is still one of the fundamentals that makes America different.
All one has to do is look to our south in Mexico where even many journalists take bribes and journalists are intimidated and sometimes murdered or disappear.
Regina Martinez was not one of the journalist who was accepting bribes or writing-government friendly stories. Her aggressive reporting on corruption may have gotten her killed.
Former Associated Press Mexico Bureau Chief Katherine Corcoran has written a new book called In The Mouth of the Wolf – A Murder, A Coverup, and the True Cost of Silencing the Press.
Appearing on Friday’s Smart Talk, Corcoran explained why she wrote the book,” I wanted to write this book because I wanted to show the importance of a free press and what happens to a society when you shut it down, when you quiet the free press. Also, I wanted to find out what happened to her. It was a very controversial case and there was clearly a cover up. And so I wanted to see if I could find out what really happened.”
She added that’s why the book is relevant to American readers,”The attacks against the press in the United States right now, which I’ve been a journalist for decades, are really unprecedented. It can be dangerous to go out and be a reporter in the United States because now you are targeted for being a journalist in a way that never happened before — verbal threats, but also physical attacks. And so what I wanted to show was a society where the journalists are basically terrorized. They either have to leave or self-censor in order to protect their own lives. And what happens in a society where that situation exists, because there is a void of real information, of reported information, of independent voices, of critical voices. And it allows, in the case of the book, a criminal government to basically prey on its own citizens. And so the result of silencing the press is not really hitting the press. It’s it’s hitting the society. It’s controlling the society. And what the society can know, what the society can do. And so I think it’s very important for people to understand that when someone attacks the press, we’re just the first line of attack. We’re not the target. You’re the target. The society is the target.”
Regina Martinez was beaten to death in her home in 2012. An arrest was made but there’s some doubt about the guilt or level of guilt of the man arrested. Corcoran doesn’t speculate on who killed Martinez but she does have a theory,”I think she was killed because she had some very sensitive and explosive information about a powerful person. And I think that powerful person found out about it. And there’s some dispute among her colleagues whether she was actually planning to publish it or not, because some said she was actively working on this. And others said, no, that she had come to the point where she realized the situation was just too dangerous. And she told people that she didn’t want to investigate any more, that she wanted to pull back. She maybe wanted to cover other topics. And so it’s not clear that she was actually working on it as to publish. But it is pretty clear that she knew it and some and other people found out that she knew it.”