ADD Name of Ambassador, Embassy of Mexico Concern: Demand for Justice for Journalists and Media Staff Killed in Mexico
02 November 2015
We are writing on behalf of ADD NAME OF your ORGANISATION,a member of the International Federation of journalists (IFJ) representing 600 000 journalists in the world to urge your Government to address the issue of impunity for violence against journalists in Mexico.
Today, on UN Day against impunity for crime targeting journalists, the IFJ has launched a campaign to “End Impunity’ for violence against journalists, focusing on Mexico, the Philippines, Ukraine and Yemen. The Federation is mobilising its 180 affiliates worldwide and their 600,000 members to highlight the impunity in these countries. You can view the campaign here: http://www.ifj.org/en/campaigns/end-impunity-2015/
According to our records, Mexico has been among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists over the last six years and has the highest journalists’ death tolls in the Latin America region for 2015, with nine killings in media so far.
While we welcome the initiatives of the Federal Government to address the violence on media, such as the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate killings of journalists, there seems no end in sight to deadly attacks on them. Scores of journalists and media professionals continue to be murdered in their homes, at their workplaces and in the streets.
The IFJ believes that impunity is the single biggest contributor to violence in journalism. Unless those who attack journalists are held to account, the media safety crisis will continue. This is a concern we share with your Government which was among the sponsors of the Resolution creating the UN Day against impunity for crime targeting journalists to be marked on 2 November, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 2013.
Today, as we mark for the second year the UN Day, the IFJ, its member in Mexico - the Sindicato Nacional de Redactors de Prensa y Trabajadores de Actividades Similares y Conexas (SNRP) - and the IFJ regional organisation, FEPALC, are joined by the world’s journalists’ community to urge drastic measures to end impunity for violence on journalists in Mexico.
In particular, we appeal to your Government to guarantee independent investigations of murder cases in which there are allegations of involvement by those who hold public office such as police officers and local administration officials.
A case in point is the killing in January 2015 of Moises Sanchez Cerezo, a journalist who had received death threats in the State of Veracruz after exposing abuse of power and collusion between local officials and drug traffickers. A police officer reportedly admitted to his involvement in the journalist’s murder, accusing a senior officer and a close ally of the Mayor of the killing.
We further urge your Government to follow up in murder cases all leads to powerful interests group in Mexico. In this regard, we wish to highlight the murder of Atilano Roman Tirado, a radio journalist for Fiesta Mexicana Radio, who was gunned down in his studio while he was broadcasting live his programme ‘ Asi es mi terra’ in October 2014. Reliable sources indicated he had received deaths threats over his reporting on the tragedy of families who had been misplaced by the construction of a damn which flooded their land. In addition we are concerned that nothing was done so far to investigate the killing in August this year in Mexico city of photojournalist Ruben Espinoza. He had been threatened in his home town of Veracruz because of his professional activities and was forced to relocate to Mexico City for security reasons. These cases, and many more, demonstrate that there are still powerful forces determined to intimidate journalists who dare expose corruption, abuse of power and crime, all of which defy the remit of the Government to provide peace, security and opportunity to all citizens of Mexico. These brave journalists have chosen to make common cause with the authorities to advance the rule of law and human rights for all. For that alone, they deserve your protection.
We sincerely hope that you will give due consideration to our request and make the protection of journalists your Government’s top priority in the interest of the rule of law and respect for human rights in Mexico.