Gisela Pérez de Acha (’20) in conversation with Katherine Corcoran about her newly released book In the Mouth of the Wolf: A Murder, a Cover-Up and the True Cost of Silencing the Press.
A former AP Mexico bureau chief’s pulsating investigation into the murder
of a legendary woman journalist on the verge of exposing
government corruption in Mexico.
RSVP here. (Note: Rescheduled from November 15, 2022.)
Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin America Studies at UC Berkeley.
Regina Martínez was no stranger to retaliation. A journalist out of Mexico’s Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, Regina’s stories for the magazine Proceso laid out the corruption and abuse underlying Mexican politics.
She was barred from press conferences, and copies of Proceso often disappeared before they made the newsstands. In 2012, shortly after Proceso published an article on corruption and two Veracruz politicians, and the magazine went missing once again, she was bludgeoned to death in her bathroom. The message was clear: No journalist in Mexico was safe.
Katherine Corcoran, then leading the Associated Press coverage of Mexico, admired Regina Martínez’s work. Troubled by the news of her death, Corcoran journeyed to Veracruz to find out what had happened.
Regina hadn’t even written the controversial article. But did she have something else that someone didn’t want published? Once there, Katherine bonded with four of Regina’s grief-stricken mentees, each desperate to prove who was to blame for the death of their friend. Together they battled cover-ups, narco-officials, red tape, and threats to sift through the mess of lies—and discover what got Regina killed.
Corcoran’s work confronts how silencing the free press threatens basic protections and rule of law across the globe and provides a terrifying and critical look at reporters who dare to step on the deadly “third rail,” where the state and organized crime have become indistinguishable.
About the Author
Katherine Corcoran is a former Associated Press bureau chief for Mexico and Central America. She has been an Alicia Patterson fellow, the Hewlett Fellow for Public Policy at the Kellogg Institute at the University of Notre Dame, and a Logan Nonfiction Program fellow. At the AP, she led an award-winning team that broke major stories about cartel and state violence and abuse of authority in Mexico and Central America.
Her columns about Mexican politics and press freedom have appeared in the Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, and Univision Online, among other publications. She was co-director of Cronkite Noticias, the bilingual reporting program at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and is co-leader of MasterLAB, an investigative editor training program in Mexico City.
About Gisela Pérez de Acha
Gisela Pérez de Acha reports on extremism, disinformation and environmental issues for the Investigative Reporting Program. She co-teaches the Open-Source Investigative Reporting class with Prof. David Barstow and J.D. PhD Alexa Koenig: the country’s first multidisciplinary investigative reporting course using open source intelligence (OSINT) techniques at a university. Gisela is also a human rights lawyer, an open source researcher at Berkeley Law’s Human Rights Center Investigations Lab. She recently won a team Polk Award for her work on the PBS FRONTLINE documentary “American Insurrection” and was also part of an Emmy award-winning team at the New York Times for “The Siege of Culiacán”. Born and raised in Mexico, Pérez de Acha speaks fluent Spanish, English, French and Portuguese. She has a master’s degree from Berkeley Journalism.
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