Mexico violence: Killer of Mexican journalist Regina Martinez sentenced to 38 years jail


Protesters take to the streets following the murder of Mexican journalist Regina Martinez in Xalapa, Veracruz, on April 29, 2012.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – A judge in Mexico sentenced a man to 38 years in jail for the murder of prominent Mexican journalist Regina Martinez, who was found beaten and strangled to death in her home in the violence-ridden eastern state of Veracruz last year.

More from GlobalPost: Regina Martinez, Mexican crime reporter, found dead in Veracruz

The BBC reported Jorge Antonio Hernandez Silva was convicted of homicide and robbery on Tuesday.

Hernandez Silva will also have to pay a fine of 17,724 pesos ($1,461) and 81,473 pesos ($6,716) in restitution.

But news magazine El Proceso, which employed Martinez, said Hernandez Silva – illiterate and HIV positive – was wrongly convicted and the real culprit remained at large.

Prosecutors said Hernandez Silva confessed to the crime, but the magazine claimed there were “inconsistencies” in the investigation.

Fingerprints found in Martinez’s home in Xalapa, for example, did not match those of Hernandez Silva.

Nine journalists have been murdered in Veracruz since December 2010, when Javier Duarte, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, became governor.

Nationwide, dozens have been killed in recent years for reporting on the activities of powerful drug cartels and corrupt officials. The cases are rarely solved.

Since 2005, 82 reporters and photographers have been murdered and 18 others reported missing, the Mexican National Human Rights Commission said in an alarming report released in December.

More from GlobalPost: International press delegation calls for protection for Mexico's journalists

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