07 April 2014
Impunity - Mexico
WHEREAS although crimes against journalists have decreased in these past six months, threats from social leaders, local political players and organized crime groups have increased, using social media, telephone calls or messages WHEREAS the number of attacks on journalists committed by state and federal security agencies and the Armed Forces has increased in recent months, including threats, detentions, slight to serious injuries, and theft of equipment, especially in the states of Sinaloa, Sonora, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Zacatecas, Baja California Sur, Morelos, San Luis Potosí, Puebla, Chiapas, Tabasco, Tlaxcala, Quintana Roo, Yucatán, Coahuila and Federal District WHEREAS reporters of El Noroeste of Sinaloa, in only eight days in February, received six attacks by municipal, state and federal police, which included death threats, beatings, erasure of images and confiscation of equipment in a context of high risk, following the capture of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, leader of the Sinaloa cartel WHEREAS the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) decided to archive the case file concerning the disappearance of El Imparcial of Sonora journalist Alfredo Jiménez Mota, without, to date, his whereabouts being known nor if those responsible have been arrested WHEREAS the FEADLE says that it consigned the case files of the cases of the murders of journalists Bradley Ronald Will, Valentín Valdés Espinosa, Felícitas Martínez and Teresa Bautista, but it has not reported on the conclusions of its inquiries and at what stage the proceedings are WHEREAS the FEADLE has under its jurisdiction cases occurring since 2005 and, after so much time, has not been able to solve them, such as the murders of journalists Raúl Gibb Guerrero (2005), Enrique Perea Quintanilla (2006), Armando Rodríguez (2008) and María Esther Casimbe (2009), and in addition it is not known precisely what other cases it has under its responsibility in prior investigation WHEREAS the Deputy Attorney General’s Office for Organized Crime (SEIDO) and the Deputy Attorney General’s Office for Federal Offenses have under their charge prior inquiries, detailed actions, arrest orders or criminal proceedings since 1997 concerning attacks and abductions that have not been solved and whose legal status is unknown, among them those of Jesús Blancornelas, José Ramírez Puente, Francisco Ortiz Franco, Francisco Arratia Saldierna, Guadalupe García Escamilla, Rodolfo Rincón Taracena, Armando Ramírez Dillanes, Carlos Ortega Samper, Eliseo Barrón Hernández, José Luis Ortega Mata and Miguel Ángel López Velázquez WHEREAS following the acquittal of Marco Antonio Quiñones, one of the perpetrators of the attack on Jesús Blancornelas, editor of the weekly Zeta, and the murder of his chauffeur Luis Valero, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office continues its non-compliance with the orders of arrest that it has pending for others involved and neither has it resumed the inquiries against Quiñones to bring him to court with new evidence WHEREAS in Michoacán there exists an exceptional situation regarding the control being exercised by organized crime and which forced the Mexican government to intervene to take back control of areas and institutions, in which the follow-up by the IAPA showed that the cases of murders or disappearance of journalists in the area totaled 12 since 1991, which continue to go unpunished, which are: Lázaro Cárdenas (1991), Ramiro Ramírez Duarte (1999), Jaime Arturo Olvera Bravo (2006), José Antonio García Apa (2006), Juan Pablo Solías (2007), Gerardo Israel García Pimentel (2007), Mauricio Estrada Zamora (2008), Miguel Ángel Villagómez Valle (2008), Martín Javier Miranda Avilés (2009), María Esther Casimbe (2009), Ramón Ángeles Zalapa (2010) and Hugo Alfredo Olvera Cartas (2010) WHEREAS the IAPA has since 1987 been following up the murders and kidnappings of journalists in Mexico, calling for each to be investigated, those responsible be brought to trial, and that the government report on whether the attack was due to the victims’ work as journalists WHEREAS the mechanism of protection of people defending human rights and journalists was established by law in 2012 but, two years later, has not achieved becoming a real entity that complies with providing safety for threatened reporters and media, due to the constant removal of staff, including two of the directors (the latter in March), because of the lack of awareness, vision and training of staff WHEREAS the FEADLE despite being a specialist area is devoted more to sending cases of attacks on journalists to local public prosecutor’s offices to solve them. In the last five years 389 prior investigations were initiated, of those 59 were assigned, 26 case files were retained and it was declared incompetent in the rest, they being sent to local authorities or archived WHEREAS the state governments that have also passed laws to create special public prosecutor’s offices or mechanisms for the protection of journalists, neither have shown any progress in solving the cases of murders, disappearance of or threats to members of the press WHEREAS one year ago a Special Committee for Following Up Attacks on Journalists and News Media was installed in the Mexican Senate, without to date showing concrete results or dedicating itself to supervising the work of the FEADLE WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states “Freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, 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 IAPA RESOLVES to urge the Attorney General’s Offices of the states of Sinaloa, Sonora, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Zacatecas, Baja California Sur, Morelos, San Luis Potosí, Puebla, Chiapas, Tabasco, Tlaxcala, Quintana Roo, Yucatán, Coahuila and Federal District to promptly investigate the cases of threatened journalists and those that have suffered injuries to demand of the Mexican Congress that it increase punishment for the offenses of threats and injuries when these are against journalists and in the course of their work and increase further, if these come from a public official, with the aim of protecting freedom of expression and of information to call on the FEADLE to allow the IAPA to review the case file on the disappearance of Alfredo Jiménez Mota which has been archived to urge the FEADLE to shortly offer a report on the conclusions arrived at in the investigations into the murders of journalists Bradley Ronald Will, Valentín Valdés Esponosa, Felícitas Martínez and Teresa Bautista, so as to learn the reason for those attacks, who are responsible, and what is the legal standing of the case, also to speed up the investigations into the murders of Raúl Gibb Guerrero, Enrique Pera Quintanilla, Armando Rodríguez and María Esther Casimbe and bring to court all those responsible and urgently make public the details of these to call on the Deputy Attorney General’s Office Specializing in Investigation of Organized Crime (SEIDO) and the Deputy Attorney General’s Office Specializing in Investigation into Federal Offenses to report in a precise and urgent manner what investigations are under their jurisdictions as prior inquiries, in detailed action and in criminal proceedings to urge once again the Mexican Attorney General’s Office compliance with the arrest orders that it has pending in the case of the attack on journalist Jesús Blancornelas and his chauffeur Luis Valero before the case becomes subject to statute of limitations to call on Michoacán Security and Integral Development Commissioner Alfredo Castillo, as coordinator of all the state and federal efforts in his agency, to conduct a review of the 12 cases of murder or disappearance of journalists in the region to urge the Attorney General’s Offices of the states of Baja California, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Mexico, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas and Veracruz, to investigate and solve the cases they have under their jurisdiction for murders, kidnappings or threats against journalists and news media to remind President Enrique Peña Nieto and Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong that Mexico has not complied with the resolutions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concerning the murders of Héctor Félix Miranda and Víctor Manuel Oropeza to call for the second time on Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam for the FEADLE to be included in the Attorney General’s Office’s Organic Law and its Regulations and that economic, technical and staff resources of a high level be provided to urge the FEADLE to exercise its power to attract federal cases in an opportune and real manner to call on the Senate’s Special Committee for Following Up Attacks on Journalists and News Media to take a leading role in the review of the work of the Mexican Attorney General’s Office and the Interior Ministry.