29 September 2014

Censorship of Mexican magazine raises IAPA’s concern

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Miami (September 29, 2014)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed concern at complaints by the Quintana Roo, Mexico, magazine Luces del Siglo about repeated cloning of its magazine, attacks on its Web site and harassment of its journalists, advertisers and distributors.
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Miami (September 29, 2014)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed concern at complaints by the Quintana Roo, Mexico, magazine Luces del Siglo about repeated cloning of its magazine, attacks on its Web site and harassment of its journalists, advertisers and distributors.

Agustín Ambriz, editor of the magazine published in Benito Juárez de Cancún, municipality in Quintana Roo state, and known for its editorial stance critical of the state’s Governor, Roberto Borge, reported that since 2012 Luces del Siglo had been cloned on 48 occasions. The “policy of sabotage” according to Ambriz undertaken by the local authorities consists of the substitution of information critical of the local administration by favorable reports in which achievements of the state government are praised.

The spurious versions have appeared in 40 online issues and eight print ones. The latest online cloning occurred on September 22 and in the print version on September 9.

The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, said, “The creative way in which censorship is being applied is rather unique but, no matter how many faces it may have always carries with it the intention to gag and for information not to reach the public.”

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, said he was optimistic that the justice system could soon determine responsibilities and put an end to the censorship. “It is bizarre that a government does not respect its own Constitution, which establishes the right to respect freedom of expression and of the press,” he declared.

On September 19 a federal judge in Quintana Roo admitted a formal complaint by the magazine and ordered Governor Borge “to abstain from elaborating, disseminating, distributing and circulating front pages or non-authentic copies of this news media outlet.” The judge ordered the governor to provide a report stating whether or not the actions attributed to him are true, ordering him “to cease the transmission of defamatory, insulting or accusatory notes” against the magazine.

Ambriz said that there had been several other attacks on the magazine. They consisted of physical persecution and a discrediting campaign through social media against journalists and executives, threats to advertisers and reprisals against sales outlets and distributors.

The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.

               

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