The highest court in the Mexican Gulf coast state of Veracruz threw out the conviction of the purported killer of journalist Regina Martinez, whose family said they will appeal the decision.
“I am certain of the guilt of Jorge Antonio Hernandez Silva,” the victim’s brother, Angel Alfonso Martinez Perez, said in a statement.
“I knew and followed the investigation, I heard him confess in his own voice that he hit her and took part in her murder,” Angel Martinez said, vowing to appeal the ruling in the federal courts.
Regina Martinez, a correspondent with respected newsweekly Proceso, was beaten and strangled to death in April 2012 inside her home in Xalapa, capital of Veracruz state.
Hernandez was arrested six months later and ostensibly confessed to having carried out the murder with another suspect, who remains at large.
But the state Superior Court said Hernandez’s confession was extracted through torture and that prosecutors had no other evidence pointing to him as the killer.
Denying the accusation of torture, the Veracruz Attorney General’s Office said Hernandez’s trial included ample evidence in addition to the confession.
Nine news professionals have been slain in Veracruz since the beginning of 2011.
With more than 80 reporters killed nationwide since 2000, Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists.