Mexico: IAPA condemns murder of video blogger

Pamela Montenegro del Real, known as "Nana Pelucas" (Granny Wig), was murdered on Feb. 5 in Acapulco, Guerrero state.

It also calls for protection of threatened journalist in Chihuahua

MIAMI, Florida (February 7, 2018)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the murder of video blogger Pamela Montenegro del Real in Guerrero, Mexico, and called on the authorities to swiftly investigate in order to learn details of the crime and know if it was connected to criticisms expressed on her YouTube channel.

The IAPA also urged the Mexican authorities "to ensure the safety" of Héctor González, news program host of Televisa Canal 2 channel and of his family. González, with more than 23 years working as a journalist, was threatened by the mayor of Ciudad Juárez, Armando Cabada. The threatening action, denounced before the State Public Prosecutor's Office, occurred on February 1 in the car park of a restaurant in Chihuahua city.

Montenegro, known as "Nana Pelucas" (Granny Wig), was murdered on Monday (February 5) as she was dining with family members in a restaurant in the port of Acapulco, Guerrero state. Two assailants rushed into the place and shot her several times in the head.

Montenegro, 36, hosted on El Sillón television channel a humorous program in which she combined political satire, interviews and criticism of local officials; she gave makeup advice and denounced organized crime. She also produced the República Independiente (Independent Republic) program that dealt with cultural, social and political issues.

IAPA President Gustavo Mohme, editor of the Peruvian newspaper La República, declared "We vehemently condemn the crime and we urge the authorities not to discard any theory in order to clarify if it was connected to her work as a journalist."

Montenegro had received threats over the content of her videos also disseminated in social media. The Public Prosecutor's Office of Guerrero, Mexico's most violent state, reported that a municipal official linked to organized crime and the assailants that had killed Montenegro were believed to be involved in the murder. According to that Office in 2016 there were placed in various parts of Acapulco placards that "alluded to the victim," who "with her publications put her in the crosshairs of organized crime." The Guerrero Journalists Club, an organization to which Montenegro belonged, demanded punishment of the murderers.

For his part the chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Roberto Rock, editor of the Mexican news portal La Silla Rota, stressed concerning the two cases that "Mexico continues to be on the top list of countries with greatest levels of violence against journalists of print, electronic and digital media. Because of the rampant impunity, political officials and organized crime criminals sensitive to criticism, intensify their bloody plans."

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 publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida.