World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


Protest Campaign - Mexico, 4 May 2012

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Protest Campaign - Mexico, 4 May 2012

Article ID:

15100

His Excellency Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa
President of Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico

 

4 May 2012

 

Your Excellency,

 

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our outrage at the murder of three more journalists in the state of Veracruz.

According to reports, on 3 May – World Press Freedom Day – the dismembered remains of photojournalists Gabriel Huge and Guillermo Luna and former photographer Esteban Rodríguez were found in bags dumped in a canal in the port of Veracruz, along with the body of Irasema Becerra, reportedly Mr Luna's girlfriend. Mr Huge and Mr Luna, who both worked for the online photo agency Veracruznews, were reported missing on 2 May after they did not return from an assignment. Mr Huge had only recently returned to Veracruz after leaving the state following the murder of two colleagues last year.

Their deaths come only five days after the murder of journalist Regina Martinez, a correspondent for the weekly investigative news magazine Proceso, in Xalapa, which is also in the state of Veracruz. Ms Martinez, who covered crime and drug trafficking, had apparently been beaten and strangled to death. We wrote to you only two days ago expressing our grave concern over Ms Martinez’s murder and calling for you to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

We are seriously concerned at the horrific levels of violence facing journalists in Mexico and, in particular, Veracruz State. In the past two years, the situation of the media in Veracruz has severely deteriorated. The murders of Mr Huge, Mr Luna and Mr Rodríguez take the total number of journalists to have been killed in Veracruz in the past 18 months to 8, with at least 13 more having fled the state in the past year.

Since the beginning of your administration on 1 December 2006, at least 43 journalists have been murdered and many more have disappeared. In very few cases have the perpetrators been brought to justice and we are appalled at the climate of impunity that protects those who kill and threaten journalists.

We respectfully remind you that it is the duty of the state to provide an environment in which journalists are able to work without fear of violence. The threat of violence that exists in Mexico has created a climate of fear that promotes self-censorship.

We call on you to ensure that urgent investigations into the murders of Mr Huge, Mr Luna, Mr Rodríguez and Ms Martinez are carried out and that those responsible are quickly brought to justice. We ask you to do everything in your power to end the climate of impunity and to ensure the safety of journalists.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Jacob Mathew
President
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Erik Bjerager
President
World Editors Forum

 

WAN-IFRA is the global organization for the world’s newspapers and news publishers, with formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The organization groups 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.

 

CC:

Catalina Botero, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights of the Organisation of American States;
Carlos de Icaza, Ambassador of Mexico to France;
Javier Duarte Ochoa, Governor of Veracruz;
Felipe Amadeo Flores, Justice Attorney of the State of Veracruz.

Author

William Granger's picture

William Granger

Date

2012-05-04 17:21

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La Asociación Mundial de Periódicos y Editores de Noticias (WAN-IFRA) y el Foro Mundial de Editores (WEF), manifestaron en una carta dirigida al Presidente mexicano Felipe Calderón su “profunda inquietud” ante el asesinato de la periodista Regina Martínez, ocurrido el 28 de abril 2012, en la ciudad de Xalapa, Veracruz.

Author

William Granger's picture

William Granger

Date

2012-05-02 16:43

In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...