World Association of News Publishers

Protest Campaign - Mexico, 23 June 2011

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Protest Campaign - Mexico, 23 June 2011

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His Excellency Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa
President of Mexico
23 June 2011
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 grave concern at the murder of journalist Miguel Ángel López, his wife and their 21-year-old son.
According to reports, at around 5.30am on 20 June gunmen burst into the home of Mr López, a columnist with the Veracruz-based daily Notiver, shooting him, his wife Agustina Solano de López and their son Miguel. Mr López wrote a column called "Va de Nuez" under the pseudonym Milo Vela that frequently addressed politics and security issues. Colleagues reportedly claimed that the murders may have been in retaliation for a recent column about drug trafficking in the region.
Mr López is the second journalist to have been killed this year in the eastern state of Veracruz, a major transit corridor for drugs entering the United States. On March 8, Noel López Olguín, a columnist for La Verdad de Jáltipan daily newspaper, was kidnapped by armed men in two motorized vehicles. His body was found on 1 June in the city of Chinameca, Veracruz.
We are seriously concerned that since the beginning of your administration on 1 December 2006, at least 30 journalists have been murdered, and many more have disappeared, making of Mexico the most dangerous country in the Western hemisphere in which to be a journalist.
We respectfully remind you that it is the duty of the state to provide an environment in which journalists are able to carry out their professional duties without fear of violence. The threat of violence has created a climate of fear among journalists that promotes self-censorship.
We call on you to take all necessary steps to ensure that those who murdered Mr López and his family are quickly brought to justice and that the climate of impunity is ended. We ask you to do everything in your power to end attacks on journalists so that they are able to carry out their professional duties without fear of violence.
We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Yours sincerely,
Gavin O’Reilly
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers
Erik Bjerager
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: Mrs Maricela Morales Ibáñez, Attorney General
Mr Javier Duarte, Governor of Veracruz
Mr Gustavo Salas Chávez, Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Journalists and Freedom of Expression
Mr Carlos de Icaza, Ambassador of Mexico to France
Ms Catalina Botero, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American States


Rodrigo Bonilla's picture

Rodrigo Bonilla


2011-06-24 16:47

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Media employees worldwide face physical violence and persecution of all kinds, whether from public officials, criminals or terrorists. Assaults are daily - and often deadly - for those who challenge governments, report on conflicts or investigate corruption and crime. Read more ...

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 ...