Oaxaca: Cautionary Measures after Journalist Receives Death Threat on Facebook

May 11, 2018

DT(@Artículo 19)

“On May 1st, the reporter of Piñero de la Cuenca digital media, Juan Alberto Carmona Contreras, better known as Betillo, was threatened with death on Facebook by unknown persons in Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, as well as being harassed by unknown people outside of his home”, the organization for freedom of expression Articulo 19 reported.

Given the elements of context and concern, the organization stressed that “the threat that circulated on Facebook was accompanied by the dissemination of a photograph that was taken of the reporter in December 2017 when he was threatened by public officials of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR in its Spanish acronym). At that time, a police agent was annoyed with the reporter while covering an fireworks operation in Loma Bonita, Oaxaca and, according to the report of the journalist to Articulo 19, the public official stated: “I’ll get you, even if I lose my job and it’s not a threat, it’s a promise.”

For this reason, and from that date, Carmona Contreras requested the intervention of the Federal Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists. However, Articulo 19 stressed that, “it have not been enough to stop the aggressions against him.”

In view of the most recent events, the Ombudsman for Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca issued precautionary measures in favor of the reporter and opened file DDHPO/CA/504/(01)/OAX/2018.

For more information in Spanish:

Amenazan de muerte a periodista de Oaxaca en redes sociales (Artículo 19, 6 de mayo de 2018)

Defensoría de Oaxaca emite medidas cautelares para periodista amenazado de muerte en Facebook (Proceso, 7 de mayo de 2018)

Dictan medidas cautelares a reportero de El Piñero, quien anteriormente fue amenazado por agente de la PGR (Página3.mx, 7 de mayo de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Denuncian la desapareción de un periodista en el Istmo de Tehuantepec (23 de enero de 2018)

Nacional/Internacional: relatores de la ONU y la CIDH sobre Libertad de Expresión llaman a México a redoblar esfuerzos para proteger a periodistas (7 de diciembre de 2017)

Nacional/Oaxaca: Red nacional de periodistas exige detener la violencia contra comunicadora (17 de octubre de 2017)

Nacional/Internacional: Espionaje a periodistas y activistas en México (27 de junio de 2017)

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National: Senate Approves Controversial Social Communication Law

May 9, 2018

Socom

On April 26th, the Senate of the Republic approved the Law of Social Communication that aims to regulate the official publicity that federal and state public entities grant to the media, with 60 votes in favor, 46 against and one abstention. This Law is also known as #LeyChayote (name of the bribe that can be given to journalists and the media). Among other things, the new law establishes that the Ministry of the Interior will regulate spending on this matter, which has been questioned by civil organizations, as it continues to provide political control over government spending.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico stated: “By adopting the Social Communication Law without taking into account international human rights standards, a historic opportunity has been lost to correct the bad practices that exist around the assignment of Official Advertising in Mexico.”

For its part, the Free Media Collective composed of journalists, media, civil, academic and business organizations denounced: “This law violates the freedom of expression, press and information since the absence of such regulatory framework allows arbitrary and discretionary use of the distribution of official advertising and generates censorship of the media and critical journalists.”

It should be recalled that the formulation of this law is due to an unprecedented sentence of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation that granted an injunction to the organization for freedom of expression Articulo 19 last November, forcing Congress to regulate public resources destined for propaganda, which exceeded two billion dollars since 2013. Minister Arturo Zaldivar stated that the absence of regulation encourages an arbitrary exercise of the budget in terms of social communication, which “constitutes a mechanism of restriction or indirect limitation of freedom of expression, clearly proscribed by the Constitution (…) encourages the policy of spending on social communication channels fiscal resources towards media close to the positions of the Government and denies access to those resources -or simply threatens to restrict it- to the media that are critical of the Government’s policies.”

The Collective #MediosLibres lamented that the text only legalizes political propaganda disguised as information without achieving substantive regulation. The collective also denounced a simulation by the legislators regarding public consultation. “The lack of dialogue with civil society and of its integration in the process had as a consequence that this law obeys very particular interests and not those that a society like the Mexican [one] requires”.

For more information in Spanish:

Todo listo para legalizar el uso arbitrario de la publicidad oficial (Proceso, 7 de abril de 2018)

El Senado aprueba la Ley Chayote para regular la publicidad oficial (Animal Político, 25 de abril de 2018)

Ley Chayote viola libertad de expresión, no hay reglas claras en publicidad oficial: Medios Libres (26 de abril, Animal Político)

Ley Chayote: mandato incumplido (Sin Embargo, 27 de abril de 2017)

El Congreso mexicano aprueba una polémica ley de propaganda oficial (El País, 27 de abril de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: relatores de la ONU y la CIDH sobre Libertad de Expresión llaman a México a redoblar esfuerzos para proteger a periodistas (7 de diciembre de 2017)

Nacional/Internacional: Espionaje a periodistas y activistas en México (27 de junio de 2017)

 


National/Guerrero: CNDH Report Causes PGR Criticisms

April 24, 2018

PGRPhoto @ Milenio

On March 28th, the president of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) delivered his 2017 Activities Report where he took the opportunity to ask the Federal Government for the security that Mexico needs.

Regarding the government of the current president Enrique Peña Nieto, it noted “Mexico has not experienced a significant and objective change towards greater respect and validity of human rights; nor has our democratic state of law been substantially strengthened, nor has the environment been changed positively, when millions of Mexicans confronted each other on a daily basis, characterized by the binomials of insecurity and violence, impunity and corruption, inequality and poverty.”

He also regretted that there were major attacks against women, journalists and migrants.

The CNDH “asserted that the law enforcement system “is overwhelmed” and warned that in the current six-year term of office the human rights situation is unfavorable, including the Iguala case, where crimes against students of the normal school of Ayotzinapa were perpetrated.”

On these allegations in the case of Iguala, the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) responded by means of a statement that “it does not correspond” to the CNDH to make inquiries into it and that this agency “cannot replace” the office of the Attorney General in its functions.

Given these criticisms of the PGR, the Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) supported the CNDH’s actions and assured that “autonomous human rights organizations do not seek confrontation, but rather contribute to truth and justice.”

For more information in Spanish:

González Pérez demanda más seguridad a Peña Nieto (Sexenio, 10 de abril de 2018)

Desfavorable balance en derechos humanos: González Pérez  (La Jornada, 28 de marzo de 2018)

ONU respalda investigación de CNDH por caso Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 4 de abril de 2018)

Molestia de la PGR, porque somos “incómodos”: CNDH (Vanguardia, 3 de abril de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/Nacional/Internacional : Nuevos informes sobre caso Ayotzinapa (15 de marzo de 2018)

Guerrero: PGR buscará cerrar caso Ayotzinapa antes de diciembre (6 de marzo de 2018)

Guerrero / México – Nacional: Ayotzinapa: Caravana Rompiendo el Silencio y el Olvido (3 de marzo de 2018)

Guerrero / Nacional-México: Ayotzinapa a 40 meses de la desaparición de los 43 sigue la “indolencia” del gobierno (30 de enero de 2018)

Nacional : EPN promulga Ley de Seguridad Interior. CNDH promoverá acciones de inconstitucionalidad. (29 de diciembre de 2017)


Guerrero: Intimidation of El Sur Reporter Zacarias Cervantes Reported

November 30, 2017

Reporter.png

El Sur reporter, Zacarias Cervantes, reported that before 8 pm on November 15th he was stopped by about seven men, including at least one armed man, who bent his arm and forced him to duck his head for about 20 minutes while they were checking his car in downtown Chilpancingo. He said that they took his cell phone without threatening him or giving him any warning. He also said that the attackers left a copy of El Surs previous day’s edition on the passenger seat open on the page where a reporter’s note was published in which he pointed out the lack of progress in the investigations one month after the murder of the founder of the Indigenous Vicente Guerrero Peasant Organization, Ranferi Hernandez Acevedo. While he was held, he could hear that one of the attackers was making a phone call and asking “Do we take him?”.

The Association of Journalists of the State of Guerrero (APEG in its Spanish acronym) described the event as “an act of premeditated intimidation, planned from the [positions of] power to silence him”, and demanded a halt to the aggressions against the union and respect for freedom of expression. They asked the state government to investigate the assault, although they are aware “of what little it will do to resolve it, as has happened with other cases, such as the murders of comrades Francisco Beltran and Cecilio Pineda, which occurred during these two years of the administration.”

The organization defending freedom of expression Article 19 issued an alert after what happened and requested “in accordance with the gravity of the attempted disappearance the implementation of measures aimed at protecting their life, liberty, integrity and security.”

For its part, the Directorate of Social Communication of the State Government said it has a firm commitment to freedom of expression and respect for human rights and invited to formally denounce the event before the corresponding instances.

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncia intimidación el reportero Zacarías Cervantes (El Sur, 16 de noviembre de 2017)

Agreden a reportero del diario ‘El Sur’ en Guerrero (La Jornada, 16 de noviembre de 2017)

Sujetos armados agreden físicamente e intimidan a periodista de El Sur en Guerrero (Artículo 19, 16 de noviembre de 2017)

Intimidan hombres armados y retienen por 20 minutos al reportero de El Sur Zacarías Cervantes (El Sur, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: agresiones contra el corresponsal de Proceso (14 de junio de 2017)

Guerrero : Atacan a balazos a comunicadora originaria de Xochistlahuaca en Ometepec (5 de junio de 2017)

Nacional/Guerrero: Siguen ataques y homicidios de periodistas y defensores de Derechos Humanos (19 de mayo de 2017)

Guerrero : asesinan al periodista Cecilio Pineda (6 de marzo de 2017


Guerrero: Attack on Proceso Correspondent

June 14, 2017

ProcesoEzequiel Flores Contreras (@Desinformémonos)

For the seventh time in four years since May 2013, Ezequiel Flores Contreras, the correspondent of Proceso in Guerrero, has been victim of intimidation by unknown and allegedly armed individuals who were in a green car on the night of June 9th. It was also reported that, the day before, people aboard the same vehicle were asking “where the Proceso correspondent lived.” It is worth noting that Ezequiel Flores mainly covers corruption, narco-politics, social conflicts and human rights in the state.

In response to the events, Flores Contreras requested support from the Human Rights and Journalists Protection Mechanism of the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB in its Spanish acronym), of which the journalist is already a beneficiary due to past attacks. According to the same journalist, “the federal authorities took approximately two hours to go to his home and protect the reporter, due to a lack of effective communication between the Mechanism and members of the Federal Police in the state. It was because of the delay that he had to look directly to the officials of the Federal Public Security Secretariat in Guerrero, who finally escorted him to his home.”

ARTICLE 19 has called on the SEGOB Protection Mechanism to carry out the “necessary measures to ensure the journalist’s safety in a prompt manner and according to the risk he faces. The lack of response and attention in time and form put the safety of Flores Contreras and other journalists at risk.” Furthermore, it demanded that the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Attention to Crimes Committed against the Freedom of Expression (FEADLE in its Spanish acronym), investigate crimes committed against Flores Conteras, possibly in connection with his journalistic work.

For more information in Spanish:

Corresponsal de Proceso en Guerrero denuncia actos de hostigamiento en su contra (Proceso, 11 de junio de 2017)

Continúan agresiones contra corresponsal de Proceso, en Guerrero (Artículo 19, 11 de junio de 2017)

Continúa hostigamiento a corresponsal de Proceso en Guerrero: Artículo 19 (Desinformémonos, 12 de junio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero : Atacan a balazos a comunicadora originaria de Xochistlahuaca en Ometepec (5 de junio de 2017)

Nacional/Guerrero: Siguen ataques y homicidios de periodistas y defensores de Derechos Humanos (19 de mayo de 2017)

Guerrero : asesinan al periodista Cecilio Pineda (6 de marzo de 2017)


National: WOLA Declaration on Worsening of Violence against Journalists and Human Rights Defenders

April 13, 2017

WOLA

On March 24th, the Washington Office for Latin American Affairs (WOLA) expressed its “great concern about the dangerous upsurge of violence and armed and violent attacks against journalists and human rights defenders in Mexico” in a statement. It recalled that in the first weeks of March alone the murder of journalist Cecilio Pineda Birto (Guerrero), the aggression against Santiago Ambrosio Hernandez, president of the “Committee of Victims for Justice and Truth June 19 Nochixtlán” (Oaxaca), the murder of journalist Ricardo Monlui Cabrera (Veracruz), the armed attack against human rights defender Alma Barraza (Sinaloa) and the murder of journalist Miroslava Breach Velducea (Chihuahua), in addition to the two Raramuris human rights defenders killed in the month of January Isidro Baldenegro and Juan Ontiveros Ramos (Chihuahua) have been recorded.

WOLA stated that the mechanisms for the protection of human rights defenders and journalists of the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) and all the country’s attorneys, including the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), “have not been sufficient to prevent attacks against journalists and defenders or to meet their protection needs and that impunity for these cases and for previous attacks and crimes perpetuates and aggravates the cycle of violence and abuse.” WOLA stated that, “the government has to give more than empty promises, generic statements and justifications. They urge specific commitments of the Mexican authorities to protect journalists and human rights defenders and justice for the aggressions against them.”

According to Animal Politico, the protection mechanism for journalists and human rights defenders “has no operating budget for this year, which prevents them from expanding their reach in situations of risk … it could not admit more beneficiaries and will even have to make an evaluation and dismiss some.”

Para más información:
Pronunciamiento de WOLA sobre la violencia en contra de periodistas y defensores de DDHH en México (WOLA, 24 de marzo de 2017)

Activistas denuncian ineficacia del Mecanismo de Protección de defensores y periodistas (Proceso, 24 de marzo de 2017)
Nos quedaremos sin memoria (Animal Político, 30 de marzo de 2017)

Presupuesto para mecanismo de protección a periodistas en 2017: cero pesos (Aristegui Noticias, 24 de marzo de 2017)

Insuficiente protección a periodistas en México: WOLA (La Jornada, 27 de marzo de 2017)

 


Guerrero: Journalist Cecilio Pineda Murdered

March 8, 2017

Journalist.pngCecilio Pineda, murdered at 38 years of age. Photo@: TeleSur

On March 2, in the city of Altamirano, the journalist Cecilio Pineda was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle. Pineda was 38 years old and was the director of the newspaper La Voz de la Tierra Caliente and a contributor to El Universal newspaper. The online magazine Animal Politico reported that Cecilio Pineda “was a journalist specialized in police issues in the region of Tierra Caliente, an area that is currently suffering from serious security problems, a product of violence by ‘Los Tequileros’ criminal gang, dedicated to drug trafficking, threats and extortion.” According to the same magazine, just before he was killed, he had posted two videos on his Facebook page in which community members of San Miguel Totolapan urged Governor Hector Astudillo to arrest “Tequilero”, the leader of the gang of the same name.

Proceso magazine stated that state governor Hector Astudillo Flores declined to comment on Cecilio Pineda’s statements regarding the alleged protection of his administration of crime and local PRI deputy Saul Beltran Orozco. According to the Sur de Acapulco newspaper, the state’s attorney general, Xavier Olea Pelaez, revealed that organized crime was involved in the murder of the journalist.

Animal Politico recalled that journalist had been under threat since September 2015, the day in which an armed man shot him when he arrived at his house, where his wife and daughters were told that those shots were “a message sent for his journalistic publications.” After that assassination attempt, Cecilio Pineda began receiving precautionary measures from the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists of the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB in its Spanish acronym). On October 14, 2016, the Mechanism withdrew those measures “on the grounds that no risk was identified.”

Sin Embargo magazine declared that “Cecilio is the second journalist murdered in little more than a year of the government of Hector Astudillo Flores and number 28 in the government of Enrique Peña Nieto. From 2000 to date, 101 journalists have been killed.” In addition, he denounced that “protection of journalists will not be effective if impunity is not combated. Mexico is the country in the most dangerous region to practice journalism and today there is 99.75% impunity in these crimes.”

For more information in Spanish:

Confirma Fiscal participación del crimen organizado en asesinato de Cecilio Pineda (El Sol de Acapulco, a 3 de marzo de 2017)

Minimiza Astudillo acusaciones de Cecilio Pineda (Proceso, a 6 de marzo de 2017)

Gobernación le quitó la protección al periodista asesinado porque no identificó riesgo (Animal político, a 4 de marzo de 2017)

Tres veces intentamos sacar a Cecilio Pineda de Altamirano pero no quiso: Segob (Proceso, 6 de marzo de 2017)

Cecilio Pineda (Sin embargo, 6 de marzo de 2017)

 For more information from SIAPZ:

Chiapas : amenazas a periodista tras hacer públicos actos de corrupción de funcionarios del estado (20 de junio de 2016)

Guerrero: Asesinaron a periodista en Taxco (26 de abril de 2016)