A former mayor in northern Mexico has been condemned to eight years in prison for his involvement in the 2017 murder of journalist Miroslava Breach, prosecutors said Wednesday.
A court in Chihuahua state handed down the sentence on Tuesday to Hugo Amed Shultz, the ex-mayor of Chinipas who was arrested in December.
He was ordered to pay damages and make a public apology to the victim’s family for his role as an accomplice, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Investigators said Amed Shultz, a member of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), provided information to the organized crime group that carried out the murder, which drew international condemnation.
Juan Carlos Moreno, also known as “El Larry,” was convicted of being the “intellectual author” of the murder and sentenced to 50 years imprisonment last August.
Mexico is regularly rated by watchdog Reporters Without Borders as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.
Breach, who covered the country’s drug war, is one of more than 100 journalists who have been murdered in Mexico since 2000.
Most of the crimes remain unpunished.
Breach, a 54-year-old veteran crime and politics reporter, was shot eight times in the head on March 23, 2017, as she left her home to take her son to school.
Her work included reporting on gang members who were allegedly seeking to be election candidates.
According Propuesta Civica, a non-governmental organization that advocates for human rights and free expression, Amed Shultz apologized in court and expressed his condolences to the family.
“I acknowledge that my role affected Miroslava’s rights and I regret the consequences. The absence of Miroslava Breach as a critical voice of journalism undoubtedly affected society’s right to public information,” he was quoted as saying.
In 2018, the United Nations, AFP and others launched an award to honor journalists who risk their lives to cover human rights abuses in Mexico, in tribute to Breach and another slain journalist, Javier Valdez.