a captivating investigation into the murder of a Mexican journalist


“Regina Martinez was the only one to have evidence of links between members of the government and drug trafficking”, says Jorge Carrasco, editor-in-chief at the Mexican magazine Proceso. Her colleague was found strangled dead at her home on April 28, 2012.

To find out what happened to him, 60 journalists from 25 international media, including The world, decided in March 2020 to investigate. This collective, united under the banner Forbidden Stories has set itself the task of continuing and publishing the work of their colleagues who are threatened, imprisoned or murdered. Name of the operation: “Cartel Project”. Here, it is a question of elucidating the murder of Regina Martinez and of prolonging her work. Unless continuing his journalistic investigation will elucidate his murder.

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She was the journalist “The most read in Veracruz”, State of the east coast of Mexico. She worked on drug trafficking networks to Proceso. “Newspapers could disappear from all state newsstands when she published on corruption, violence or collusion”, tells a friend who agreed to testify with her face uncovered.

Continue to publicize scandals

When the body of the journalist is found in her bathroom, the local authorities designate a culprit whose motive was theft. It does not matter if he then retracts and denounces a confession obtained under torture. Death threats deter anyway Proceso to complete its own investigation into the death of Regina Martinez.

In this case, what can non-Mexican journalists be of use eight years later? To take over, to many, from afar, to continue to publicize one by one the scandals on which the journalist was about to make shattering revelations: the large-scale manufacture of synthetic drugs in the laboratories of the cartels, such as as fentanyl, which kills 30,000 people each year in the United States; arms sales by European firms to Mexico, unscrupulous as to their destination …

Regina Martinez was also investigating the disappearance of hundreds of Mexican citizens, police corruption and state governors colluding with cartels. And the increase in the assassinations of journalists, 64 since 2012, making Mexico a more dangerous territory than a country at war.

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Parallel investigation with several voices, risk-taking, crucial testimonies, breathless embedded narration, suspenseful music… Investigative journalist Jules Giraudat signs with Cartel Project. Mexico, silence or death a captivating documentary, borrowing its staging codes from the thriller and effectively unfolding the plot. But he also pays a great tribute, along with his colleagues at Forbidden Stories, to the work of Regina Martinez.

Cartel Project. Mexico, silence or death, by Jules Giraudat (Fr., 2020, 73 min).