On April 28, 2012 an intruder broke through the metal door leading into the garden patio of the investigative reporter Regina Martínez. He apparently surprised the Mexican journalist in her bathroom, where her body was discovered. The diminutive reporter, barely five feet tall, tried to fight off her attacker – skin was found under her fingernails. Her jaw was broken with brass knuckles. A rag was wrapped around her neck. She was apparently suffocated to death. She was one of one hundred and fifty journalists murdered in Mexico since 2000, 15 in the first eight months of 2022. These reporters, poorly paid, often working for local online publications, courageously expose the collaboration between government officials, the police and the powerful drug cartels. Martínez, who was killed at age 48, was working on an investigation into the corruption of two successive governors - Fidel Herrera and Javier Duarte - in her home state of Veracruz, considered the most dangerous place in the world to report.
In Veracruz drug traffickers and their accomplices have executed hundreds of people, including teenage dealers, entire families, farmers and politicians. Even young women who attended their sex parties. Many of these bodies ended up in unmarked mass graves. Martinez refused bribes and ignored threats. Unable to be bought off or intimidated she, like many other Mexican journalists, was murdered. The current Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has asked that the homicide case be reexamined. Katherine Corcoran, the former Associated Press bureau chief in Mexico, in her book In the Mouth of the Wolf: A Murder, a Coverup, and the True Cost of Silencing the Press, uses the case of Martinez to look at a country where in many towns and cities there is no separation between government, the police, the military and organized crime. She chronicles what happens when the path of “fake news” and obfuscation, something that not only plagues Mexico but the United States, takes its natural course. Joining me to discuss her book In the Mouth of the Wolf: A Murder, a Coverup, and the True Cost of Silencing the Press is Katherine Corcoran.