Impunity - Mexico

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WHEREAS in March of this year, at the Midyear Meeting of the Inter American Press Association in Los Cabos, Mexico, the Mexican government signed an agreement with IAPA in which it pledged to review the cases of murdered journalists Héctor Félix Miranda and Víctor Manuel Oropeza given the strong possibility of ongoing cover-ups and misdirection of the investigations WHEREAS the members of the task force, meeting in Tijuana on May 13 and 14, 2004, began reviewing the Héctor Félix Miranda case file, with attorney and journalist Francisco Ortiz Franco attending in representation of the IAPA, and this meeting having been preceded by an initial organizational meeting of the task force, which is comprised of the IAPA, the Mexican Foreign Ministry, and the Baja California State Attorney General’s Office WHEREAS in the case of Víctor Manuel Oropeza, a columnist at Diario de Juárez who was killed on July 3, 1991, no case review whatsoever has begun; that this is despite the pledge made on April 30 this year by an assistant attorney general for Chihuahua, José Manuel Ortega Aceves, to review the case file and submit a report to the IAPA and the federal government; and bearing in mind that Ortega Aceves was replaced in August by Rafael Maldonado Porras, who has not examined the case file either WHEREAS the editorial director of El Mañana of Nuevo Laredo, Roberto Javier Mora García, was stabbed to death on March 19, 2004, which police have described as a crime of passion, and one of the two suspects in the murder was eliminated in jail WHEREAS attorney and journalist Francisco Ortiz Franco of Zeta weekly was murdered in Tijuana on June 22, 2004 WHEREAS syndicated newspaper columnist Francisco Arratia Saldierna of Tamaulipas was beaten, tortured and murdered on August 31, 2004, and although the suspected perpetrator has been found, this suspect has not revealed the motives or the masterminds of the crime WHEREAS Publisher Leodegario Aguilar of the magazine Mundo Político was kidnapped and has not reappeared; and, although police made three arrests in the case, these suspects denied in court that they had committed the alleged murder; and the authorities have not proven scientifically that the human remains are those of the missing journalist WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states, “Freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, pressure, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators. Such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly" THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to ask the Mexican government to abide by the agreement reached in March 2004, to review of the case file of Héctor Félix Miranda and promptly begin investigating the murder of journalist Víctor Manuel Oropeza to continue working on the task force review of the Héctor Félix Miranda case file to express its appreciation to the Mexican government for having moved the Francisco Arratia Saldierna and Francisco Ortiz Franco cases to federal jurisdiction to ask the state authorities in Nuevo Laredo to broaden the investigation into the murder of Roberto Mora García to demand that the government of Guerrero reopen its investigations into the disappearance of journalist Leodegario Aguilera Lucas and seek incontrovertible proof that he has died.

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