National: Murder of Veracruz journalist condemned throughout the country and internationally

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Journalists and photographers protest over their missing and dead colleagues in Veracruz, Photo @izq.mx

On February 9, when the international organization Article 19 presented its report “The disappearance and forced disappearance of those who exercise freedom of speech in Mexico” (La desaparición y desaparición forzada de quienes ejercen la libertad de expresión en México”), in which it indicated Mexico as the country with the highest number of missing journalists, it was announced that the body of the Veracruz journalist Anabel Flores Salazar was found tortured and executed in Puebla. The 32-year-old journalist was mother of two and worked for El Sol de Orizaba newspaper. On January 8, she was reported missing having been kidnapped on the morning of the same day, and according to the report filed by her relatives, “She was taken from her home by armed men who came in three trucks looking for her directly and, after locating her in one of the rooms, forced into one of the vehicles and fled.” The following day, her body was found on the roadside. According to the data of Article 19, Flores Salazar is the 19th journalist to be murdered in Veracruz during the term of office of Javier Duarte de Ochoa, member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which began in 2010. “The disappearance of people who exercise freedom of speech in Mexico is alarming as regards the characteristics of the cases which, in their majority, could be considered forced disappearances”, the report indicated.

The murder was condemned by various international organizations among them the Mexican Office of the United Nations Body for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women – Women UNO (Oficina en México de la Entidad de las Naciones Unidas para la Igualdad de Género y el Empoderamiento de las Mujeres – ONU Mujeres) and the Mexican Office for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – HR-UNO (Oficina en México del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos – ONU-DH), as well as the Special Envoy for Freedom of Speech of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights – IACHR (Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos – CIDH). This last body expressed its special worry about the repetition of this type of attack against journalists and communicators in Mexico, “where one of the most dangerous places is Veracruz. In 2014, eight journalists were murdered, presumably for their links to the exercise of freedom of speech and in 2015 there were six cases. This is the second murder of a journalist in this year.” Women UNO and HR-UNO demanded that the Mexican authorities “diligently investigate the murder of Anabel Flores, from a gender perspective, considering multiple lines of investigation and avoiding at all times the stigmatization of the victim, and also taking all necessary measures to bring to justice and punish those responsible for violence against journalists.”

The case of Anabel Flores occurs in the context of threats against, repression and intimidation of journalists and those who demand freedom of speech throughout the country: on February 9, Radio Zapote reported harassment and threats; the Proceso reporter in Guerrero, Ezequiel Flores Contreras, reported that he was threatened with death by ex-deputy and member of the PRD (Democratic Revolutionary Party), Roger Arellano Sotelo, on February 10 during a demonstration about the murder of Anabel Flores Salazar; on the same day, journalist Martha Izquierdo, reporter for SemMexico in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, Oaxaca, reported threats ‘by men who arrived at the radio she directs and where she broadcasts her morning news bulletin.” Given all these events, Amnesty International (AI) asked the Mexican government to guarantee the protection of journalists. According to the director of AI for the Americas, Erica Guevara-Rosas, Mexico should especially offer protection to crime reporters. She said that ‘not protecting those who expose the sad reality of abuses in Mexico is the equivalent of trying to brush those abuses under the carpet.”

For more information in Spanish:

ONU y CIDH condenan asesinato y criminalización de reportera veracruzana (Centro ProDH, 12 de febrero de 2016)

La Relatoría Especial condena el asesinato de una periodista en México (Organización de los Estados Americanos, 11 de febrero de 2016)

CIDH y UNESCO condenan asesinato de la periodista Anabel Flores (Proceso, 11 de febrero de 2016)

Recibe amenazas la periodista Martha Izquierdo (Desinformémonos, 11 de febrero de 2016)

México, el país con más periodistas desaparecidos: Article 19 (Centro ProDH, 10 de febrero de 2016)

Encuentran sin vida a la periodista mexicana Anabel Flores (La Patria, 10 de febrero de 2016)

Anabel Flores Salazar, 32 años, madre de dos bebés y periodista de Veracruz, fue asesinada (SinEmbargo, 9 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Se amontonaron ataques en contra de periodistas en México (2 de diciembre de 2015)

Nacional/México: Torturan y asesinan a periodista y cuatro mujeres (3 de agosto de 2015)

Nacional/Internacional : Cuestionan organizaciones internacionales al mecanismo para defensores de derechos humanos y periodistas (8 de mayo de 2015)

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