Supreme Court Finds Governor Guilty of Violating Journalist’s Rights

Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho Ribeiro, herself a victim of human rights abuses, listens to the tale of the friend of a prison inmate.This story has been updated

Puebla state authorities have been found guilty by the Commission of the Supreme Court in Mexico of violating the rights of investigative journalist Lydia Cacho, who was arrested by Puebla police in December 2005 after publishing a book about a pedophile ring in Cancun.

The report finding it a vindication for Mexican journalists and those campaigning for freedom of expression and the end of media repression in a country which last year was judged to be the second most dangerous in the world to work as a journalist after Iraq by Reporters Without Borders.

Cacho and her case at the supreme court have become symbolic of the fight against repression and violence that journalists encounter here in Mexico, especially when their work challenges those in power.

The Supreme Court’s investigation found that Governor Mario Marin and 29 other state officials played a role in the events that took place in December 2005, in which Cacho was arrested by police from Puebla in Cancun, taken to a pier and told to jump and then illegally detained. During that detention she says that she was subjected to torture and attempted rape. You can see Cacho speaking to MexicoReporter.com here earlier this year about her experiences.

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“The connection [Gov.Marin] has with these violations is that he encouraged a coordinated effort by state authorities and state officials against the victim,” said Justice Juan Silva Meza on Monday.

She added that Congress will take action against Marin, who weeks after the arrest of Cacho was taped having a telephone conversation with businessman Kamel Nacif Borge, who is a close friend of the alleged pedophile ringleader Jean Succar Kuri who Cacho fingers in her book Los Demonios De Eden.

During the taped conversation, which was leaked to the press, Nacif can be heard thanking Marin for taking action to arrest Cacho. As detailed here by the LATimes, on the tape Nacif Borge calls Marin “my precious governor,” and Marin calls the businessman “my hero” as the two celebrate Cacho’s arrest.

Since the events of 2005, Cacho has been recognized by Amnesty International and a number of other human rights organizations, both for her journalism and for her work in women’s rights.

According to a report in yesterday’s The News, Justice Genaro Góngoro said: “How many journalists have declined to publish stories similar to the event denounced by Lydia Cacho? Especially when two years have gone by and the protagonists continue to enjoy impunity?”

Click here for more stories on Cacho and violence against journalists in Mexico.

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