World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


Protest Campaign - Mexico - 12 June 2012

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Protest Campaign - Mexico - 12 June 2012

Article ID:

15257

Enrique Peña Nieto, Institutional Revolutionary Party

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Party of the Democratic Revolution

Josefina Vázquez Mota, National Action Party

12 June 2012

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, and the International Press Institute, the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in over 110 countries, to call on you to address the issue of violence against journalists during your election campaign and to explain the measures you would take to end the impunity enjoyed by their attackers.

Five journalists have been murdered since 28 April. The most recent murder was that of Marcos Ávila García, a reporter for the newspaper El Regional de Sonora. His body was found on 18 May, one day after he had been kidnapped by armed men, at the side of the main road connecting the municipalities of Guaymas and Empalme in Sonora state.

Mr Ávila García’s murder followed the discovery on 3 May – World Press Freedom Day – of the dismembered remains of photojournalists Gabriel Huge and Guillermo Luna, and former photographer Esteban Rodríguez, in a canal in the port of Veracruz. 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 came 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 are seriously concerned at the horrific levels of violence facing journalists in Mexico; at least 53 have been murdered in the past 6 years and many more have disappeared. In very few cases have the perpetrators been brought to justice and those who kill and threaten journalists are routinely protected by a climate of impunity. 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.

In the run up to the election on 1 July, we urgently call on you to address the issue of journalists’ safety and impunity, and to present the concrete measures you would take to end the appalling levels of violence they face. Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for media workers and the authorities’ apparent disregard for their safety severely undermines its democratic credentials. We urge you to use your election campaign as a platform to explain how you would end this intolerable situation and restore Mexico’s democratic reputation.

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

Carl-Eugen Eberle, Chairman International Press Institute (IPI)

 

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.

IPI is a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in over 110 countries, dedicated to the furtherance and safeguarding of press freedom, the protection of freedom of opinion and expression, the promotion of the free flow of news and information, and the improvement of the practices of journalism.

cc: Dr. Catalina Botero , Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American States

Author

Rodrigo Bonilla's picture

Rodrigo Bonilla

Date

2012-06-18 17:59

Author information

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 ...