Police linked to death threats of Veracruz newspaper

Diario El Mundo de Orizaba_1206053065236At around 10pm on Tuesday night of this week, Auricela Castro García, the publisher of El Mundo de Orizaba, a daily based in Orizaba in the southeastern state of Veracruz, received a phonecall.

Identifying himself as José Sánchez, the caller asked to speak to the publisher “for personal reasons.” The call was transferred to the editor, who said Castro was in a meeting and unavailable. The caller replied: “Tell her she has information, she knows what I am talking about, and if she publishes it, she will be killed.” Continue reading

Mexico: Impunity and Collusion

Index on Censorship » for free expression_1205950003734Threats to reporters from government and criminals are making investigative journalism impossible, writes Deborah Bonello

In February this year, the car of Mexican journalist Estrada Zamora was found empty on the side of the road in the southern state of Michoacán with its engine running. Zamora was not inside and has not been seen since.

Click on the link above to read the full article, published today by Index on Censorship.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION DAY. PROTEST ONLINE TODAY.

rwbReporters Without Borders is tomorrow inviting Internet users to come and protest in online versions of the nine countries that are “Internet enemies”.

Mexico still deadliest country in the Americas for journalists, says RWB

rwbMexico remains the deadliest country in the Americas for journalists with two murders in less than a month, and three disappearances, according to today’s annual report from Reporters Without Borders. Three journalists were murdered last year, and three media workers were shot dead.

Those levels are an improvement on 2006, when nine journalists were killed, but 2008 is looking grim if the stats are to be believed. As many journalists were killed last week than in the whole of last year. Continue reading

Local reporter shot dead in Western Mexico

LOCAL NEWSPAPER REPORTER GUNNED DOWN IN MICHOACÁN STATE FOR UNKNOWN REASONSA local reporter, who covered agriculture and occasionally crime in the western Mexican state of Michoacán, was shot dead on Saturday night.

Gerardo Israel García Pimentel, who wrote for the daily La Opinión de Michoacán, was found in the stairway of the car park of the hotel in which he lived. He had been shot about 20 times with an assault rifle and a revolver, according to Reporters Without Borders.

A brother and cousin of his are reportedly missing, according to the local press in the state, and his fellow journalists said that they weren’t aware of any motive for the killing.

Senior staff at La Opinión de Michoacán said that García Pimentel “basically covered agricultural stories and sometimes breaking news, but only occasionally.” Continue reading

Supreme Court Decides Cacho’s Rights Not Violated Enough

A screen shot from the film The fight for press freedom in Mexico was dealt a serious blow this week after the country’s Supreme Court found that the rights of journalist Lydia Cacho were not violated enough by the state governor of Puebla, Mario Marin, for action to be taken against him.

The Court rejected a report by its own Commission on Tuesday that found that Marin and 29 of his officials had conspired to violate Cacho’s rights. Its ten judges voted 6-4 yesterday that although there was evidence of criminal acts, and some rights violations did take place, they did not meet the ‘standards necessary’ for the court to recommend action to be taken.

The decision has infuriated the journalistic community and human rights groupsin Mexico, who after Tuesday’s recommendations from the Commission were optimistic that Marin would be taken to task for his role in the mistreatment and harassment of Cacho.

On hearing the outcome of the case, Cacho said: “The court’s decision is a defeat for Mexican journalists who inform the public and investigate cases linked to human-trafficking. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Press Freedom Report Paints Grim Picture for Latin America

Journalists in Latin America continue to be the victims of murders, threats and harassment when investigating sensitive subjects such as corruption and drug trafficking, according to the latest report from the World Association of Newspapers, and media in Mexico remains a target of violent attacks.

The report mentions the three media workers shot dead in Oaxaca in October, which it says were probably a reprisal by drug traffickers for their newspaper’s coverage El Imparcial of organized crime, but doesn’t mention the murders of Amado Ramírez, of Televisa, in Acapulco on 6 April this year and of Saúl Martínez Ortega, of the magazine Interdiario and the daily Cambio de Sonora, on 23 April, which were noted by Reporters Without Borders.

Three journalists have been killed in Columbia this year, and one in each of the following countries: El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Paraguay.

According to the organization, the number of journalists killed in 2007 is approaching the record 110 deaths last year.

A year on but still no explanation….

Apac-disparu-logoJosé Antonio García Apac (pictured), editor of the regional weekly Ecos de la Cuenca, based in the state of Michoacán was last seen on this day last year. He was on his way home to his wife and seven children when he disappeared.

Since that date, the culprits for his disappearance have not been presented by the Mexican Government and its dedicated arm, the Special Prosecution Office for the Investigation of Crimes Against Journalists (FEADP). Continue reading

Brad Will shot at close range, says investigation

The one-year anniversary of the death of Brad Will will be marked today in New York, Oaxaca and no doubt other places around the world.Brad Will was shot by an assailant (s) just 50 centimeters away, and not from a distance of 30 meters as originally thought, according to the latest findings of the investigation of the Attorney General on the case in Mexico.

Results from the investigation into the death of the American IndyMedia journalist, shot dead in Oaxaca just over a year ago, suggest that he could have been killed by fellow protesters or members of the People’s Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO), as well as government agents or infiltrators, according to newspaper reports in Mexico last week.

The finding that he was shot at such close range contrasts with past reports on the murder of the media worker, which placed his assassins at more than 30 meters from him, and also goes against evidence and reports that suggest that Will was in fact murdered by Government sympathisers or agents. Continue reading