Impunity - Mexico II

WHEREAS the editor of the weekly newspaper Ojinaga, José Luis Ortega Mata, was murdered on February 21, 2001 in the State of Chihuahua, and the crime has not been solved, and there have been many threats against journalists over the past six months WHEREAS seven years after the murder of journalist Roberto Mancilla Herrera in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, on February 2, 1993, the men initially arrested as likely suspects in the crime were released due to a lack of evidence against them, the investigation has turned up no other suspects, and no other arrest warrants have been issued WHEREAS Luis Mario García was murdered on February 12, 1998, and no one has been charged with the crime, despite the fact that the deputy prosecutor handling the case, Margarita María Guerra y Tejada, stated that the murder was committed by an officer of the Federal Judiciary Police, who had been identified by an eyewitness; the investigation has been halted WHEREAS Víctor Hernández Martínez was murdered on July 26, 1997 in front of the offices of the Federal Judiciary Police in Mexico City, and the investigation has turned up no motive or possible suspects, despite the fact that the federal attorney general and the attorney general for the Federal District at the time vowed on their lives that they would promptly solve the murder WHEREAS two years after the murder of U.S. journalist Phillip True in the state of Jalisco, and, despite the fact that the two men who have confessed to murdering the journalist have been arrested, the evidentiary period is still open, and the turnover of three judges and three district attorneys is causing delays in the normal course of the trial and extending the legally mandated time-limit for delivering a judgment WHEREAS José Ramírez Puente, a journalist and spokesman for the Center for Information and National Security (CISEN) of Mexico's Ministry of the Interior, was found dead on March 28, 2000 in his car, where allegedly marijuana was also found, and the investigation of the murder by the Federal Attorney General's Office has yet to identify a motive or suspects WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec establishes that "[f]reedom 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; [s]uch acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly" THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to urge the Chihuahua state authorities and law enforcement to order a thorough investigation into the death of Ortega Mata, to find those responsible for the crime to request that the government of Chiapas review the investigation, the leads pursued and the reason why the two men arrested were released, and urge it to explore the initial lines of investigation and those suggesting that the motive was the victim's professional activity to request that all federal, state and municipal authorities move ahead with the investigation into the sources of the threats against journalists, and provide them with sufficient protection against the various dangers they face to request that the government of the Federal District review the investigation begun by the previous administration and the findings of that investigation, which apparently implicated individuals close to the Federal Attorney General's Office, and investigate why the individual identified by the deputy prosecutor was not arrested to demand that the Office of the Attorney General for the Federal District commit to continuing and expanding the investigation to urge the government of Jalisco and the state courts to commit to continuing the trial in Phillip True's death, such that there will be no more turnover or replacements among those handling the case, and it will be brought to a speedy conclusion to demand that the authorities of the state of Chihuahua, the Federal Attorney General's Office and the Ministry of the Interior determine whether the drugs found in the car were deliberately planted to misdirect the investigation and defame journalist José Ramírez Puente, and whether the murder was related to the victim's work as a spokesman or spy for a government agency, and urge the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Chihuahua to intervene in the investigation, or the Federal Attorney General's Office to commit to continuing it.