A former mayor in northern Mexico was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment after admitting his role to the murder of a journalist in 2017. 

Mexico News Daily reported that a court in Chihuahua state handed down the sentence to the former mayor of Chinipas, Hugo Amed Schultz Alcaraz, on Tuesday, June 15.

According to AFP, Schultz was arrested last December for his involvement in the killing of journalist Miroslava Breach in Chihuahua city.

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Ex-Mayor in Mexico Gets 8 Years in Prison in Journalist's Death

Hugo Amed Schultz Alcaraz's sentence was made shorter after he accepted some of the terms the court has offered to him.

Apart from the eight years of jail time, Schultz, a member of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), was barred from running for public office in the future and the right to appeal.

He was also ordered to provide monetary compensation and make a public apology to Miroslava Breach's family for his role as an accomplice.

According to investigators, the former mayor provided information to the organized crime group that carried out the killing that drew international condemnation.

Juan Carlos Moreno, also known for his alias "El Larry," was allegedly the "intellectual author" of the murder. He was sentenced to 50 years imprisonment last August.

Miroslava Breach, who wrote a series of reports on drug trafficking networks in the state, was shot eight times in the head on March 23, 2017.

"I am very sorry that actions on my part contributed to her (Breach) regrettable murder," Schultz said in his public apology. 

As he expressed his apology to Breach's family, the former mayor acknowledged that his contribution affected the journalist's rights, adding that he regretted "the consequences that they resulted in."

"The absence of Miroslava Breach as a critical journalistic voice has undoubtedly affected the right of society to public information," Schultz noted.

Reports said that Jose Luevano Rodriguez, former state leader of the PAN, allegedly ordered his former spokesman Alfredo Piñera to question and record Breach about the sources of her stories.

The said audio recordings were then handed to Schultz, who passed them onto Moreno. More than four years after the journalist's death, there is still an arrest warrant pending for one other suspected intellectual author of the murder and a driver Jaciel "N." Rodriguez and Piñera are still at liberty. 

Mexico Journalist Killings

Watchdog Reporters Without Borders rated Mexico as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. According to AFP, Miroslava Breach is one of the more than 100 journalists murdered in Mexico since 2000. 

Meanwhile, data from Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) showed that between 1992 and 2021, 57 journalists in Mexico were killed. Four of them died due to dangerous assignments.

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