This journalist who was investigating police brutality against women has been found dead in her home with signs of having been brutally beaten.
Chilean authorities are investigating the murder of Albertina Mariana Martinez Burgos, 38, a photographer and journalist who worked for the Chilean media outlet Mega after her body was found in her home in the centre of the country’s capital Santiago on Thursday evening.
According to Chilean media, Martinez Burgos was covering the repression and abuse of the Carabineros (the Chilean police) against female reporters during the riots against President Sebastian Pinera’s government.
Local media report all the photographic material taken by the photographer during the riots and other expensive items were missing from her home.
The freelance photographer lost contact with her boyfriend two days before the discovery of her body. Her boyfriend, who has not been named, reportedly asked his mother to go to his girlfriend’s house but when nobody answered the mother called a locksmith to unlock the door.
She then went into the house where the victim’s body was found reportedly with signs of having been stabbed and beaten.
Prosecutor Debora Quintana, in charge of the investigation, said to local media that “we are clearly investigating this case as a homicide” and added “I interviewed the direct relatives who are the boyfriend and the mother-in-law of the victim. They are witnesses because they were the ones who reported the case and the investigation is ongoing”.
Relatives and friends of the woman wrote on social that “she was in the protest on 14th November for the first time and we know that she was a bit scared of going to the protests, so we want to be clear that Albertina was not covering the protests. We ask respect for her family, friends and colleagues. Waiting for justice for our friend.”
The prosecutor said that they are waiting for the results of the autopsy to determine the cause of death but confirmed it is being investigated as a homicide.
The feminist movement “Ni Una Menos” (Not One Woman More) in Chile regretted the death of the woman and asked authorities to find out more, saying that “neither her computer nor her camera was in her house when she was found dead”.
A team from the Office of Human Rights of the United Nations who were sent to Chile to analyse the situation ended their visit on Friday and will publish their report in the coming weeks.
The team was focused on evaluating the situation of human rights linked with the protests and reportedly investigated the use of strong measures from police and army officers in the protests, as well as violence against the security forces and the destruction of private property.
No arrests have been reported in the murder of Martinez Burgos.
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