Oaxaca: Founder and Director of Community Radio Murdered. Tenth Journalist Murdered under AMLO Government

May 10, 2019

Radio.png@Facebook Victor Mendoza

On May 2nd, Telesforo Santiago Enriquez, founder and communicator of “El Cafetal” 98.7 F.M. community radio, was assassinated in an ambush in the municipality of San Agustin Loxicha, in the southern highlands of Oaxaca. He received multiple bullet wounds while traveling in his car and died instantly.

In his programs, Telesforo, who was also an indigenous education teacher and defender of indigenous languages, covered topics of critical analysis of municipal and state governments. Authorities of the vice attorney of the Costa region are following the necessary procedures, however, until now there are no elements that identify a motive.

The organization for freedom of expression Articulo 19 reported that people close to the journalist, said that Telesforo had received threats recently. He indicated that the murder of Telesforo is the third against journalists of community radio stations in the year and the fourth of journalists in the same period. In addition, “Oaxaca is the third most lethal state in Mexico for the press: since the year 2000 there have been 13 murders. These figures exemplify the adverse landscape which community media confront.”

Articulo 19 demanded an “objective, impartial and exhaustive investigation that takes as a first line of investigation the exercise of journalism and that brings the material and intellectual culprits of the crime to justice”; and that the Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, of the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB), “be aware of the case and provide the necessary protection measures to protect the integrity of the family and collaborators of Telesforo Santiago.”

For more information:

Asesinan en Oaxaca a director de radio comunitaria El Cafetal (La Jornada, 2 de mayo de 2019)

Asesinan a Telésforo Santiago Enríquez, fundador y director de una radio comunitaria en Oaxaca (Animal Político, 2 de mayo de 2019)

Emboscan y asesinan a Telésforo Santiago Enríquez, locutor de radio comunitaria en Oaxaca (Radio Formula, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Asesinan a Telésforo Santiago Enríquez en Oaxaca, el tercer comunicador comunitario en el año (Artículo 19, 3 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Reportero herido en atentado inicia huelga de hambre ante retiro de escoltas y nulos avances en investigación. (April 23, 2019)

Oaxaca: periodista es herido con arma de fuego en el Istmo de Tehuantepec (March 22nd, 2019)

National: Several Organizations Express Concern over Freedom of Expression in Mexico (March 19th, 2019)

Oaxaca: siete periodistas denuncian amenaza colectiva vía Facebook (December 14th, 2018)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

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National: AMLO’s Declarations “Authorization and Instigation to Carry out any Attack or Harassment against Journalists”

May 9, 2019

AMLO.png@Gobierno de Mexico

On April 15th, the organization for freedom of expression Articulo 19 condemned the statements of the same day of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) who, in his morning conference, suggested that reporters should be “prudent” because otherwise “they know what happens.”

“The message that the President is giving is an authorization and an instigation to carry out any attack or harassment against journalists,” said Sebastian Salamanca, Articulo 19 journalist defense program official. He questioned if with these last statements AMLO is saying how journalists “must act” and suggesting that “they will receive the punishment of the people” if they do not behave properly. “Any follower of Lopez Obrador will interpret these words as tolerance to continue attacking journalists who are critical,” he said.

Just at the morning conference on April 12th, Univision journalist Jorge Ramos contradicted the figures of violence in Mexico offered by Lopez Obrador, a participation that was harshly criticized on social networks by Lopez Obrador’s followers and even by journalists from media close to the president.

Shortly before there was another controversy after AMLO asked the newspaper Reforma to reveal the source that leaked the draft of the letter sent by the Mexican government to King Felipe VI of Spain demanding an apology for the conquest.

Articulo 19 regretted that Lopez Obrador’s most recent statements “add up to a series of attacks” carried out by the President, who on more than one occasion has labeled some critical media as “conservatives” and “fifí [opposition] press”, This is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to practice journalism, according to Reporters Without Borders.

For his part, Jorge Ramos in an article published by the New York Times stressed that “the power-press relationship will always be fraught with tension. But in a democracy under construction like the Mexican one it is fundamental to discuss, defer and dialogue; do not disqualify. The challenge is to continue living together, even if sometimes we do not agree.”

For more information in Spanish:

El mensaje que da AMLO es una autorización para hostigar a periodistas, alerta Artículo 19 (Sin Embargo, 15 de abril de 2019)

“Si ustedes se pasan, pues ya saben lo que sucede”, dice AMLO a los periodistas (ADN Político, 15 de abril de 2019)

Declaraciones de AMLO alientan ataques a periodistas: Artículo 19 (SDP Noticias, 16 de abril de 2019)

El presidente no es el jefe de los periodistas (NY Times, 16 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11th, 2019)

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)


National/International: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Mexico

April 11, 2019

UNHCHR.pngMichelle Bachelet (@CINU)

At the end of her official visit to Mexico, which took place between April 5th and 9th, the United Nations Organization High Commissioner of the for Human Rights (UN-DH), Michelle Bachelet, said she was surprised by the levels of violence and the dimension of the human rights crisis in the country. “It was a surprise to me what I found. Without a doubt, the case of Ayotzinapa is well known by the press, but the 40 thousand disappeared was not something that was so clear, of the 26 thousand bodies without identification (in the forensic services). Or ten women murdered a day. I knew very well about the violence, but I had no idea of ​​the dimension (…) The data are terrifying.” She pointed out that Mexico has figures for violent deaths equivalent to a country at war: 252,538,000 since 2006.

She highlighted outstanding human rights issues in different areas, in particular regarding forced disappearances, femicides, violence against defenders and journalists, torture, abuses against migrants, as well as high poverty rates -especially in indigenous communities- and the need to carry out consultations in accordance with international standards, among others, in order to undertake megaprojects.

The High Commissioner also signed a collaboration agreement on the National Guard and another on the collaboration of the agency in charge of the investigation of the forced disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa (Guerrero, 2014).

The former president of Chile stressed that the new authorities of the country “have recognized that Mexico has a human rights crisis,” that there is political will to move forward with the pending issues and that “President Lopez Obrador has expressed his willingness to implement a change of paradigm.” She stressed that in the case of the National Guard, the Mexican government is talking about “accountability, transparency, human rights indicators that allow us to see if the National Guard is indeed going in the right direction or is deviating.” “The office will not hesitate to raise the alarm if it sees that there is any type of situation that does not correspond to the spirit of what is sought and the spirit of the agreement”, she said.

In the Ayotzinapa case, she said: “My office will be an ally that will not hesitate to contribute to progress and at the same time will raise the alarm in case of non-compliance. We request to know the whereabouts of the boys”, she added.

For more information in Spanish:

Enfrentar las desapariciones forzadas es el problema central en México, insta Michelle Bachelet (ONU México, 9 de abril de 2019)

México tiene cifras de muertes violentas propias de un país en guerra: Bachelet (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

La ACNUDH asesorará la creación de la Guardia Nacional (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet defiende a la sociedad civil: Es importante para la democracia, le dice al gobierno de México (Animal Político, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet se va desolada de tanto horror en México: “No sabía de todo lo que me he encontrado…” (Sin Embargo, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet: como una guerra, las muertes violentas en México (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11, 2019)

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation (March 9, 2019)

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018

September 21, 2018

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018 (September 21, 2018)


National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists

April 11, 2019

Mechanism.png

On April 4th, on the eve of the official visit of Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, from the 5th to 9th this month, the Consultative Council of the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, requested, “in compliance with the recommendations of both the United Nations System and the Inter-American System, the Mexican authorities respect and revindicate the work of human rights defenders and journalists in our country.” This followed “from different points -even from the highest levels of the executive- that call into question the work of journalists and defenders.” The Consultative Council of the Protection Mechanism affirmed that, “statements that disqualify the exercise of journalism, the promotion and defense of human rights, in addition to delegitimizing it, contribute to sharpening the adverse context that day by day, both defenders and journalists live in.” It recalled that since the entry of the new government, 17 defenders and journalists have been killed in the country.

The Consultative Council raised the need to strengthen the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico, “since this is the main official tool to guarantee their protection and exercise the right to freedom of expression, the right to information and the right to defend human rights” and proposed a series of actions in this regard, including the importance of guaranteeing not only economic resources, but also human resources for this purpose.

It concluded that the Protection Mechanism “is not everything, but a tool that can contribute to the construction of a governmental system and/or policy that protects the exercise of these rights, and that without a doubt has to be a State priority.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado completo ( Consejo Consultivo del Mecanismo de Protección a Defensores de Derechos Humanos y Periodistas, 4 de abril de 2019)

Activistas y periodistas en riesgo por críticas gubernamentales (La Jornada, 4 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet debe contribuir a garantizar protección a periodistas y activistas: Mecanismo de Protección (Proceso, 4 de abril de 2019)

Consejo Consultivo del Mecanismo exige respeto a defensores y periodistas (Contralínea, 4 de abril de 2019)

Señalamientos del gobierno contra la prensa y activistas “contribuyen a agudizar el contexto adverso que viven día con día”: Mecanismo de Protección (Desinformemonos, 5 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14, 2018)


National: Espacio OSC Requests Dialogue and Effective Protection Measures for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists

April 1, 2019

OSC.png

In a statement published on March 26th, following statements the previous day by the Undersecretary for Human Rights, Alejandro Encinas, Espacio OSC (Civil Society Organization Space), an articulation of national and international organizations for the protection of human rights defenders and journalists in Mexico, urged the Mexican State to take urgent measures for the attention of both sectors guaranteeing their right to defend human rights and exercise freedom of expression.

They regretted that the “ineffectiveness” of the Mechanism for the Protection of Defenders and Journalists has not been recognized until “after 114 days of government”, and even “after the assassination of at least 15 human rights defenders and journalists so far of the current [period of] government.”

Beyond the Mechanism, they emphasized “the need to take a turn towards an integral public policy that addresses structural problems from the axes of: respect, prevention, protection and investigation, sanction and reparation.” They also demanded that the authorities at all three levels of government “recognize the importance of the work of human rights defenders and journalists in strengthening a democracy, as well as ceasing to give stigmatizing speeches that delegitimize such work.”

They stressed, however, that the recognition of the failures of the Mechanism could be an opportunity for “the construction of solutions.” Therefore, they requested “to form work groups in conjunction with organizations and human rights defenders and journalists throughout the country to meet the set of challenges facing the Mechanism; and that there be wide spaces for discussion at the national level with different authorities and organizations that pave the way for the construction of an Integral Public Policy.”

 For more information in Spanish:

ONG llaman a proteger de forma eficaz a defensores y a periodistas (Proceso, 26 de marzo de 2019)

Pide Espacio OSC mesas de trabajo sobre Mecanismo de Protección de Segob (Aristegui Noticias, 26 de marzo de 2019)

EPN dejó en una empresa privada seguridad de periodistas, es hora de que el Estado la asuma: ONGs (Sin Embargo, 26 de marzo de 2019)

La Segob empleó entre polémica a empresa que “cuida” a periodistas, y aún así la recontrató 6 veces (Sin Embargo, 27 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14, 2018)

National: Defenders and Journalists Denounce Insufficient Resources for Continuity of Protection Mechanism (September 26th, 2018)

National: UN-DH urges Mexico to guarantee resources for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders (September 17, 2018)


National: Several Organizations Express Concern over Freedom of Expression in Mexico

March 19, 2019

Freedom.png(@Reporters without Borders)

On March 12th, in Mexico City, Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of the organization Reporters Without Borders (RWB) held a meeting with the Assistant Secretary for Human Rights, Alejandro Encinas, and reported that he had gone to the International Criminal Court (ICC) ask it to intervene in Mexico given the murders of 102 journalists and the forced disappearance of 14 others that occurred between 2012 and 2018 in the country. In the text presented, it is argued why they should be classified as crimes against humanity, as stipulated in Article 7 of the Statute of Rome, which establishes the jurisdiction of the ICC.

Deloire told Encinas of the great concern of his organization because in Mexico there continue to be numerous murders and acts of violence against reporters, being one of the most dangerous in the world for the press; it is ranked 147 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Ranking. In the first months of the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), three journalists have been murdered. In a subsequent press conference, he affirmed that “the mandate of President Andres Lopez Obrador must be marked by profound reforms in order to advance in the fight against impunity in which the murders and disappearances of journalists remain, as well as to improve the effectiveness of the protection mechanism for journalists, even in the states of the country where the situation is most difficult, so that journalists can work freely and disseminate all the information that is useful to Mexicans, for the country.”

For its part, the organization for freedom of expression Articulo 19 has expressed its concern over the fact that the new government has not pronounced on improvements in protection policies for journalists or presented clear actions to ensure that crimes committed against the press are investigated and punished: “The violence against the press did not end on July 1st nor in fact did it end on December 1st”, said Ana Cristina Ruselas, regional director of Articlulo 19. She also stated that “it is important and very necessary that the new government refuses to stigmatize the press, in a context like ours, the statements of the President of the Republic against the press only revive the violence and give guidelines to different individuals and different perpetuators to go against the press (…) The highest officials, including the President of the Republic, must expressly acknowledge the importance of the journalists, an express sanction to any type of aggression and a consequent fact that has to do with other State institutions of an investigation and sanction of this type of aggressions.”

Articulo 19 has documented that by using stigmatizing statements such as “conservative” [fifí] press and bribed journalists, AMLO might “legitimize and encourage attacks against journalists in the digital, in the physical physical and affect the plurality of public debate. This increases the level of vulnerability and risk faced by journalists in the most dangerous country to exercise freedom of expression in the Americas.” He demanded the head of state “unequivocally recognize the importance of a free press in democracy.”

In a similar vein, a study by Signa Lab of the Technological Institute of Higher Studies of the West (ITESO in its Spanish acronym) revealed that in recent months a trend in users related to the president in the social network Twitter emerged, whereby they carry out attacks against journalists and media critical to his mandate. The document “Democracy, freedom of expression and the digital sphere. Analysis of topologies on Twitter: the case # RedAMLOve” recommended “that there should be an official statement from the Presidency or from the Office of Social Communication of the same, to clarify what the position of the government against these online non-organic strategies is”. Signa Lab said that these actions “may result in critical voices, necessary in a democracy, retreating given the virulence of the attacks.”

When questioned about this study, the president denied that there is a group organized by the government to defend him from those who question or criticize him. He assured that the media will not be disrespected, freedom of expression will not be curtailed, “but we will exercise our right of reply.”

For more information in Spanish:

Reporteros Sin Fronteras denuncia ante la CPI crímenes contra periodistas en México (CNN México, 13 de marzo de 2019)

Dichos de AMLO incentivan ataques a la prensa, dice Artículo 19; Obrador niega bots a favor suyo (Vanguardia, 13 de marzo de 2019)

Impunidad de los crímenes contra periodistas en México: RSF anuncia su comunicación oficial a la Corte Penal Internacional (Reporteros sin fronteras, 12 de marzo de 2019)

En los primeros cien días de gobierno se ha intensificado la intolerancia a la crítica y al discurso disidente (Artículo 19, 12 de marzo de 2019)

Con AMLO van ya 3 periodistas asesinados y las acciones para protegerlos no aparecen: Art.19 (Sin Embargo, 9 de marzo de 2019)

DEMOCRACIA, LIBERTAD DE EXPRESIÓN Y ESFERA DIGITALANÁLISIS DE TENDENCIAS Y TOPOLOGÍAS EN TWITTEREL CASO DE LA #REDAMLOVE (Signa_Lab, ITESO, 28 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

International/National/Guerrero/Chiapas: More Attacks on Journalists; Articulo 19 and European Parliament Launch “By the Hand” Initiative to Protect Journalists at Risk (February 14, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

Chiapas: Two Members of Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan and Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement Murdered (January 28, 2019)

National: Journalist Rafael Murua Murdered (January 28, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

 


International/National/Guerrero/Chiapas: More Attacks on Journalists; Articulo 19 and European Parliament Launch “By the Hand” Initiative to Protect Journalists at Risk

February 14, 2019

JournalistsPhoto @ Medium

On February 6th, the director of the office in Mexico City of El Sur newspaper in Guerrero, Vietnika Batres, received death threats and was the victim of identity theft. According to the information received by the organization Articulo 19, the journalist reported that “she detected unusual activity in both her personal and work email accounts (…) threats began to come from one of her own accounts (…) several more messages were sent from her own emails with explicit death threats addressed to her family, which included names and addresses of their homes, along with schedules of their activities.”

Articulo 19 asked for the Protection Mechanism for Defenders and Journalists to be granted to the journalist Vietnika Batres, as well as the necessary protection measures for her family.

On February 9th, the announcer, Jesus Ramos Rodriguez, from the station Oye 99.9 FM de Tabasco was murdered. According to El Pais, Rodriguez was the presenter of the morning program Our Region Today and was attacked when he was having breakfast at a hotel restaurant in the municipality of Emiliano Zapata, Tabasco.

On February 11th, the owner and announcer of a radio station in the municipality of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, was shot in the head. According to La Jornada, the announcer, Bersain Galvez Ramirez, broadcasts a “program of musical tastes in a FM station, presumably of the so-called pirates, that is, that does not have an official permit.” There is no greater clarity about the reason for the attack.

Given the high number of attacks against journalists in the country and “the ineffectiveness and inoperativeness of the law enforcement agencies” the initiative was presented on February 6th in the Senate of the Republic; “By the Hand; the European Parliament with Mexican Journalism.”

The initiative “consists of a political support tool to maintain a regular and constant dialogue between members of parliament, journalists and Mexican authorities such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and state and federal authorities, to rule on any threat and attack against the journalists who are part of the program.”

For more information in Spanish:

Artículo 19 denuncia amenazas de muerte contra Viétnika Batres, periodista del diario El Sur (Sin Embargo, 10 de febrero de 2019)

Amenazan de muerte a periodista en CDMX, suplantando su propia identidad (Aristegui, 10 de febrero de 2019)

Balean a Bersaín Gálvez, locutor de radio en Chiapas (El Sol de México, 11 de febrero de 2019)

Balean a locutor de radio en Chiapas (La Jornada, 11 de febrero de 2019)

Personas desconocidas amenazan de muerte a periodista suplantando su propia identidad (Artículo 19, 10 de febrero de 2019)

Parlamento Europeo y ARTICLE 19 lanzan el programa “De la Mano” para la protección de periodistas en riesgo (Artículo 19, 7 de febrero de 2019)

Asesinado un periodista en Tabasco, el segundo en México en 2019 (El País, 9 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

Chiapas: Two Members of Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan and Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement Murdered (January 28, 2019)

National: Journalist Rafael Murua Murdered (January 28, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)