miércoles, enero 02, 2008

Crece la violencia contra periodistas en México, ahora le toca a Michoacán

Y hablando de libertad de expresión, México sigue siendo un país peligroso para el periodismo libre. Copio del boletín de prensa de Artículo 19:

For immediate release - 17 December 2007

The kidnapping of the city of Zitacuaro’s radio and TV entrepreneur, Juan Pablo Solis on 7 December and the murder of Gerardo Israel Garcia Pimentel, a reporter for the newspaper “La Opinion” has fuelled the environment of violence and selfcensorship suffered by journalists in Michoacán. The lack of political will of authorities to investigate these incidents, constitutes a further solidifying of impunity in the country.

In Michoacán, during the present year, at least 20 journalists have been kidnapped, many of them have been severely beaten, and others have been brutally killed according to a Committe to Protect Journalists (CPJ) investigation. Threats and intimidating acts are frequently endured by those attempting to carry out their journalistic duties. In particular, journalists undertaking investigative assignments for small regional media very often find themselves vulnerable to attack.

Juan Pablo Solis, Radio Zitacuaro Director was, according to the information released by IAPA (Inter American Press Association), kidnapped on 7 December 2007. Authorities have since been unable to establish his whereabouts. Gerardo Israel Garcia Pimentel was found dead on 8 December 2007 with almost 20 shots in his body in the car park of the hotel where he lived; he worked as a reporter for the newspaper La Opinion.

The absence of justice in the majority of the reported cases of aggression, threats and attacks against journalists, contributes to the consolidation of a perilous environment for freedom of expression. Despise the situation, there is an unexplainable and unacceptable silence on behalf of the local and Federal government. This silence, in turn, gives rise to a dangerous spiral of violence and impunity, detrimental to the fundamental rights of journalists and the collective right of a society struggling to be informed.

“Impunity is the primary cause of the fear and self-censorship that is taking root within the community of Michoacán”, stated Dario Ramirez, Director of the ARTICLE 19 Office in Mexico in an open letter addressed to Mr. Leonel Godoy Rangel, the recently elected Governor of Michoacán. The letter intends to draw his attention to the severe freedom of expression environment in Michoacán, Mexico.

ARTICLE 19, calls upon Mr Leonel Godoy Rangel, to undertake all necessary measures for the fulfillment of its obligations under freedom of expression and international human rights law including undertaking effective protection measures, security training for journalists, and legal and medical assistance for the victims and their families.

Journalists, civil society, as well as the victims of freedom of expression abuses and their families are hoping to find in the new Governor’s administration what has been denied to them by the Federal and local administration of the past.

 For more information, please contact Ricardo González ricardo@article19.org

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