Oaxaca: new journalist’s murder

August 30, 2014
Octavio  Rojas Hernández (El Buen Tono)

Octavio Rojas Hernández (El Buen Tono)

On August 11, the director of Social Communication of the municipality of San José Cosolapa, Oaxaca and collaborator of the newspaper “El Buen Tono” in Veracruz, Octavio Rojas Hernández was shot dead. His recent articles were about “Chupaductos” referring to a band that was “milking” Pemex pipelines. His research pointed that among those responsible were policemen from the municipality. The chief information officer of El Buen Tono said that this murder has to do directly with these notes. He thus demanded that the police investigation considers this line of research: “For us, the family and even sources within the city council, we all believe it is because of his articles. The Attorney should deepen that line of investigation, investigate well and deal with the consequences. “

Darío Ramírez, Director for Mexico and Central America of ARTICLE 19, an organization that protects the rights of journalists, “the murder of Octavio Rojas is a sad reminder of the latent danger to those who do journalism in Mexico. The murder must not go unpunished, even though all indications are that it will, according to previous cases. If we want a secure and free press, the first thing we need to do is to fight the most poignant sign of encouragement for future aggressions: impunity. “

In an alert related to the case, ARTICLE 19 said they it has documented from January 1, 2007 to the first semester of 2014, at least 139 attacks on the press in Oaxaca, which stand out as one of the three Mexican states with more aggression against reporters in seven years (the first place is the Federal District and the second, Veracruz). Of the total of agressions, four have been murders, 75 physical attacks, 27 threats, 13 acts of intimidation and six arbitrary arrests, to name a few of them. In 58 percent of cases, the alleged perpetrators of the attacks are public officials. “

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejecutan en Oaxaca a funcionario y corresponsal del diario “El Buen Tono” (Proceso, 12 de agosto de 2014)

Asesinan a balazos funcionario en Oaxaca (El Universal, 12 de agosto de 2014)

Otro periodista fue asesinado: Van 79 homicidios contra periodistas desde 2000 (Animal Político, 13 de agosto de 2014)

ALERTA: Procuraduría de Oaxaca no debe descartar vínculo profesional de comunicador asesinado (Artículo 19, 12 de agosto de 2014)

Página http://www.elbuentono.com.mx/

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: the Mexican state with the highest number of attacks on women human rights defenders and journalists (June 10, 2014)

Oaxaca: One of the most violent and dangerous states for the exercise of journalism (May 16, 2014)

National: Harassment of home of director of Article 19 shortly before publication of report “Dissent in silence: violence against the press and criminalization of protest, Mexico 2013”

March 28, 2014

Darío Ramírez (@Desinformémonos)

Darío Ramírez (@Desinformémonos)

On 16 March, the home of the General Director of the Mexico and Central American Office of Article 19 belonging to Darío Ramírez was harassed.  Work documents as well as other valued objects and computers were stolen, according to a denunciation submitted to the Attorney General’s Office of Mexico City (PGJDF).  The press release distributed by Article 19 after the act stressed that this is “the fifth security incident that personnel from the organization have faced […] since April 2013.”  Beyond this, the acts took place two days before the organization released its report “Dissent in Silence: Violence against the press and criminalization of protest, Mexico 2013.”  In this sense, the bulletin expressed that “we are concerned that the harassment of the home would be a message of intimidation for those who seek to inhibit our work in favor of freedom of expression.”

On 18 March, however, there was held an event to present the 2013 report as planned, which indicates that each 26.5 hours a journalist is attacked in Mexico.  In 2013, Article 19 documented 330 aggressions against journalists and media institutions (59% more than in 2012), including 59 against women.  These statistics are the highest since 2007, though in 2013 five journalists died, two fewer than in 2012.  More than 60 attacks on journalists took place during protests, in a way that the report indicates as showing the “authorities choosing for the path of repression and direct confrontation.”  In 59.3% of the cases, a public official has been responsible.  Although the problem revolves around states already noted in the country (such as Veracruz, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas), Article 19 notes that the documented attacks allow one to see a “pattern of dissemination toward other states” such as, for example, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Tlaxcala, Baja California, and Zacatecas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Funcionarios públicos y crimen organizado, principales agresores de periodistas (Analisis Centro Prodh, 19 de marzo de 2014)

2013, el año más violento para la prensa en México: Artículo 19 (Animal político, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Primer año de Peña, el más violento para la prensa desde 2007: Artículo 19(Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Informe completo 2013 (Artículo 19, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Allanan la casa del Director de Artículo 19; solicita protección (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de Artículo 19 (Artículo 19, 17 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Article 19 receives death-threats (23 April 2013)

National: More confrontations and repression against social movement, 2 October

October 25, 2013

Foto @ Animal Político

Photo @ Animal Político

Once again on 2 October, the social movement marched in the streets of Mexico City to commemorate the massacre of students on 2 October 1968, but on this occasion protestors’ advance on the Zócalo was impeded by a strong police presence, such that the march had to end at the Angel of Independence.

Several non-governmental organizations denounced a disproportionate use of public force.  “We have documented all the violations that were committed, and we hope that there are sanctions against those responsible,” declared Adrián Ramírez, president of the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (Limeddh).  The confrontations left dozens injured, including 32 police, and more than 100 arrested, according to the Ministry for Public Security in Mexico City, which announced that it had acted “with strict conformity to applicable normativity in the case of the arrest of the multitudes.”  Regardless, activists indicated that on several occasions the riot police launched tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, and even rocks against protestors, thus violating protocols governing the use of public force.  “What we saw yesterday was clearly an unprofessional police force” and a “lack of protocols,” added Darío Ramírez, director of Article 19, which documented more than 30 attacks on journalists and photographers.

The Miguel Agustín Pro-Juárez Center for Human Rights (PRODH) reported that five of its members who had been observing the events were attacked, with two injured.  Furthermore, activists noted the presence of plainclothes officers who carried out arrests and that, moreover, police engaged in “actions of provocation.”

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights denounced that “during the actions of observation in which the solidarity network #BreakTheFear participated, as organized by civil human rights organizations and groups in favor of liberty of expression, there were registered several violations of human rights against those who were protesting.  In particular, we repudiate the acts of violence committed against members of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights A.C., whose labor of observation was inhibited by public security forces of Mexico City.”

At the rally participated leaders of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) Rubén Núñez (Oaxaca) and Juan José Ortega (Michoacán), who centered their rejection not just on educational reform, but also on the general context of “structural reform,” including for energy and finance.

In the capitals of Chiapas and Oaxaca there were also held massive marches.  Arturo Peimbert, president of Defense for the Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca (DDHPO), reported that precautionary measures had been distributed for those persons who had been arrested by the state police during confrontations which took place on 2 October in the Oaxacan capital.

For more information (in Spanish):

A 45 años del 2 de octubre, añejas demandas y violencia (La Jornada, 3 de octubre de 2013)

2 de octubre: balas de goma, gases entintados (Contralínea, 4 de octubre de 2013)

Van 102 detenidos por manifestación del 2 de Octubre (Animal Político, 3 de octubre de 2013)

COMUNICADO | OSC condenan agresiones contra defensores de derechos humanos durante la marcha conmemorativa del 68 (CDHMTlachinollan, 3 de octubre de 2013)

Boletín: Represión en México, signo de este gobierno (CDHFBLC, 3 de octubre de 2013)

Una mega marcha por octubre 2, en Tuxtla (Cuarto Poder, 3 de octubre de 2013)


Video: Violencia en marcha del 2 de octubre debe ser esclarecida (Aristegui Noticias, 3 de octubre de 2013)

National: Article 19 receives death-threats

April 23, 2013

(@Artículo 19)

On 19 April, the organization Article 19, whose task it is to denounce abuses and intimidations against freedom of expression, received an anonymous message at its offices in Mexico City.  The message threatens the organizations’ director, Darío Ramírez, and his collaborators with death.The organization reported that it had presented the corresponding denunciations to the Federal Attorney General’s Office in Mexico City, who is responsible for the crime of death-threats.The same day, the organization Freedom House indicated that so far in the term of Enrique Peña Nieto (since 1 December 2012), there have been registered 26 cases of aggressions against journalists and communication media in Mexico, thus expressing its concern for the “impunity” evinced in these attacks.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de prensa (Artículo 19, 19 de abril de 2013)

Amenazan al director de la organización Artículo 19 (Proceso, 20 de abril de 2013)

Exigen a autoridades indagar amenazas contra Artículo 19 (Proceso, 22 de abril de 2013)

Freedom House registra 36 ataques al periodismo desde el 1 de diciembre (CNN México, 19 de abril de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: 172 aggressions against journalists in 2011 – Article 19 (2 April 2012)