Impunity - Mexico I

WHEREAS Héctor Félix Miranda, editor and columnist for the weekly newspaper Zeta of Baja California, was killed in April 1988, and the state authorities never investigated the possibility that someone had ordered the crime WHEREAS sixteen years later, in May 2004, state and federal representatives signed an agreement with the Inter American Press Association to set up a task force to review the case WHEREAS three working meetings have been held, and the State Attorney General’s Office of Baja California issued its comments to the IAPA on the legal and technical aspects of the murder case and the role of one of the accessories; said office also determined that the statute of limitations has expired, precluding further investigation into the matter, but this position is not final WHEREAS state authorities agreed to send the final document to the IAPA for review and comment WHEREAS the Mexican government will look into the possibility of advancing a proposal that will be satisfactory to both parties in keeping with the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights WHEREAS Víctor Manuel Oropeza, a columnist for the newspaper El Diario de Juárez of Chihuahua, México, was killed in 1991, and no one has been convicted for his murder WHEREAS based on a review of the case by the IAPA and representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the State Attorney General’s Office of Chihuahua in February 2005, it was clear that a thorough investigation was not conducted in the wake of the murder, evidence was lost, the possibility that the crime was related to the victim’s work was not even explored, and other lines of investigation were not pursued to conclusion WHEREAS since then the State Attorney General’s Office has resumed the investigation and is pursuing all theories; this work has yielded promising results so far and, if it continues, will lead to the identification of the perpetrators and possibly the masterminds; to accomplish this, however, the state authorities of Chihuahua need the state courts to do what they can under the law to allow the proceedings to move forward WHEREAS Article 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 urge that the federal government and the State Attorney General’s Office of Baja California abide by the recommendation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Case 11.739) — which was accepted by the Mexican government — and conduct a vigorous, complete, impartial, and effective investigation to identify those involved in the murder of journalist Héctor Félix Miranda as well as any government officials who may have neglected their responsibility to pursue and administer justice to commend the work performed in the last seven months by the State Attorney General’s Office of Chihuahua to solve the murder of journalist Víctor Manuel Oropeza, and to encourage those in charge of the investigation to pursue all theories and, as soon as possible, arrest and prosecute all of those involved in the crime, including the possible masterminds to request that the federal government take the necessary steps to ensure that the Office of the Attorney General submits a copy of the case file that it had previously submitted in the murder of Víctor Manuel Oropeza to the State Attorney General’s Office of Chihuahua, in order to make all records in the case available to said office; and to expedite the request from state authorities that Samuel de la Rosa Reyes, a suspect in the case, be extradited to the United States to urge that the Chihuahua state courts do what they can under Mexican and international law (to which Mexico is a signatory) to assist in the proceedings necessary to solve the murder of Víctor Manuel Oropeza.