Two confess to journalist's murder p.11

By: Mark Fitzgerald Two Huichol Indians killed Philip True because they were angry that the San Antonio Express-News Mexico City correspondent was photographing land they consider sacred, Mexican authorities say.
"It wasn't robbery. They thought he was invading sacred territory. They did not like Mr. True taking pictures of the region and the population," Horacio Vega, the lead detective on the case, told the Express-News' Susana Hayward.
Mexican police say the two Huichols ? Juan Chivarra, 28, and his brother-in-law, Miguel Hernandez de la Cruz, 24 ? confessed to killing the 50-year-old True in a remote mountainous region of western Mexico last month.
The two said nothing during their arraignment Dec. 28. on murder charges.
Vega says that True had encountered Chiverra ? whom Mexican authorities say actually killed the correspondent--halfway through a 10-day hike in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains. The three hiked together toward the town of Jesus Maria when one of the Indians tripped or pushed True down a hill.
True was unable to defend himself as Hernandez sat on True's legs while Chivarra strangled the reporter with his own neckerchief. True's body was discovered Dec. 16.
Even before the suspects were arrested, the Express-News had published the story proposal True had written for his solo hiking trip to the Huichol Indian country. True said he wanted to tell, through photographs and words, the story of an isolated people, who take peyote for religious reasons, increasingly coming into contact with modern Mexico.
Express-News editor Robert Rivard says that True was sensitive to indigenous cultures and streetwise about danger.
"He was not your hyperactive, war horse foreign correspondent," Rivard says. "I don't see this as some guy stampeding his way into a sacred site while people around him grow increasingly agitated and he just ignores them. Even if he were photographing a sacred site the moment anyone expressed they were disturbed, he would have stopped."
True concluded in his proposal, which is on the newspaper's Web site at true /1229lky1.swhtml that "There is a beautiful story in this. Interested?"
A memorial service for True will be held in the Express-News newsroom Jan. 7, Rivard says.
?(The Express-News dedicates a Web site to True.) [Caption]

?(Editor & Publisher Web Site: http://www.mediainfo. com) [Caption]
?(copyright: Editor & Publisher January 2, 1999) [Caption]


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