National: Increase in attacks on journalists in Mexico

December 27, 2015



In recent weeks have transpired a number of attacks and acts of harassment against journalists in Mexico.  On 20 November in Mexico City, the home of the journalist Gloria Muñoz Ramírez was raided.  Muñoz Ramírez is the director of the electronic magazine Desinformémonos and a columnist for La Jornada.  Moreover, the editorship of Desinformémonos suffered a robbery and a cyber-attack.  The magazine is dedicated to documenting popular struggles and social movements in Mexico and throughout the world.  “This attack takes place within the context of grave attacks on journalists in the country, thus harming the right to information and putting at risk the lives, integrity, and personal security of those who dedicate themselves to communication,” noted the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights, based in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, in a communique.

Moreover, on 25 November, the journalist Maite Azuela received a death-threat at her home in Mexico City.  The articles written by the journalist are dedicated to human-rights policies and violations, recently related to the Army, as led by General Salvador Cienfuegos, and the state government of Puebla, directed by Rafael Moreno Valle. On 27 November in Guerrero, the general secretary of the state government, Florencio Salazar Adame, interrupted into a radio program and threatened the journalist Sergio Ocampo Arista, a news reporter, who had been discussing “suspicious” acts taken by the State.  According to the Journalistic Investigation Agency, Salazar Adame “arrived violently to the radio station and took the microphone to warn Ocampo […] that he should be careful with the criticisms he launches against the PRI government of Astudillo Flores,” governor of Guerrero.  Recently in Veracruz, at least 12 journalists were attacked by public-security forces.

Amidst these incidents, the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) and Amnesty International Mexico (AI Mexico) submitted more than 12,000 signatures to the state authorities to demand that all the necessary measures be taken so that the Mechanism of Protection for Rights-Defenders and Journalists in Mexico function effectively. CMDPDH and AI indicated that the “work of rights-defenders in the country is risky and despite the fact that since 2012, there exists a law establishing a mechanism to protect these defenders and journalists who are at risk, it has not been implemented effectively due to lack of interest on the part of politicians.”  From 2000 to date, the National Commission on Human Rights in Mexico (CNDH) has registered 107 murders of journalists; 20 disappearances of journalists between 2005 and 2015; 48 attacks on media institutions from 2006 to date and a total of 506 complaints from 2010 to 2015.  Beyond this, between 2014 and 2015 the CNDH has authorized 26 precautionary measures.

For more information (in Spanish):

Recibe amenaza de muerte articulista Maite Azuela en el Distrito Federal (Desinformémonos, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Periodistas veracruzanos exigen tipificar delito de “ataque a la libertad de expresión” y garantías de seguridad (Revolución 3.0, 29 de noviembre de 2015)

Secretario general del gobierno priista de Guerrero irrumpe en cabina de radio con sus guaruras y amenaza a periodista (Revolución 3.0, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

Basta de agresiones contra periodistas en México (Desinformémonos, 27 de noviembre de 2015)

Exigen eficacia en protección a periodistas (El Economista, 26 de noviembre de 2015)

Condenamos agresiones a periodistas y el ataque a Desinformémonos (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 24 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Mexico: Torture and murder of journalist and four women (10 September 2015)

National: Disappeared journalist Gregorio Jiménez is found dead (16 February 2014)

National/International: PBI and WOLA publish report on Mechanism of Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico (10 February 2015)

National: A delicate moment for the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists (30 March 2014)

Oaxaca: New attacks on journalists (2 September 2014)

Guerrero: Delay in release for Nestora Salgado; her daughter claims to have been threatened by phone

February 5, 2015


Photo @We Demand Freedom for Nestora Salgado (Facebook)

Though the Human Rights Commission from the Chamber of Deputies and different civil non-governmental organizations have demanded the release of Nestora Salgado García, member of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC), Isabel Miranda de Wallace and Alejandro Martí, the presidents of the Halt Kidnapping and Mexico SOS organizations, came out against the call for her release.  In a press-conference, they called on President Enrique Peña Nieto and the Supreme Court to review the case and carry out due process, rather than succumb to politics.  They indicated that to release of Salgado García would be “illegal and against the state of right.”

Nestora Salgado was arrested on 21 August 2013 in Olinalá, Guerrero, where she had served as a coordinator for CRAC, by Army and police units, accused of kidnapping.  This presumed kidnapping of which she is accused was the legitimate arrest of a person accused of robbery, according to the CRAC.

Meanwhile, Saira Rodríguez, daughter of Nestora Salgado, denounced that the previous week, she once again received a threatening phone call, and though she admitted being frightened by this act of intimidation, she also noted that it is a sign that the legal process to free her mother from incarceration is progressing well.  “On 9 January, when I came to visit my mother, I received a call from an unknown number.  It was a man who told me: ‘Pray to God that your mother remains where she is, because otherwise, you and your angels will pay the consequences.’  At that moment I became scared and I hung up,” Rodríguez noted in an interview with La Jornada.  It bears noting that the government of Rogelio Ortega Martínez has presented a request for the cancellation of the charges against Nestora Salgado to Miguel Ángel Godínez Muñoz, the state prosecutor, who must now evaluate whether this is to proceed or not.

For more information (in Spanish):

Nueva demora en liberación de Nestora Salgado (La Jornada, 12 de enero de 2015)

Hija de Nestora Salgado acusa que recibió una amenaza telefónica (La Jornada, 15 de enero de 2015)

Se oponen Alejandro Martí y Miranda de Wallace a liberar a Nestora Salgado (La Jornada, 12 de eenero de 2015)

Nestora Salgado, a un paso de la libertad (Proceso, 12 de enero de 2015)

Acusan a perredistas de presionar para liberar a Nestora Salgado (Milenio, 12 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Death-threat directed against Nestora Salgado’s daughter and Communal Police commander from Olinalá (25 October 2014)

Guerrero: A year after Nestora Salgado’s arrest, organizations demand her immediate release (2 September 2014)

Guerrero/National: Emergence of Committee of Women for the Liberty of Nestora Salgado (2 September 2014)

Guerrero: Navy kidnaps coordinator of CRAC en Olinalá (13 September 2013)

Guerrero: Murders of social leaders continue

December 7, 2013


On 16 November in Atoyac de Álvarez in the Costa Grande of Guerrero, Juan Lucena and José Luis Sotelo were murdered, being campesino leaders of the El Paraíso community.  The events took place a day before the annunciation of the creation of a communal police in the community and eight days after the murder of Luis Olivares Enríquez, director of the Popular Organization of Producers of the Costa Grande (OPPCG) in the Coyuca de Benítez municipality.  One of the relatives of the victims noted that this was a political crime and that the murders could have been prevented by the police.  At the scene of the crime there were two municipal police who, upon learning of the murder, did nothing.  “This is a political crime that comes from power groups in the government who are out of control,” said someone to La Jornada.  The motive of the crime is clear, because “as has occurred with other social activists, execution is the easiest way of getting rid of such people.  They were leaders in the community, and they motivated everyone,” insisted the source.

For more information (in Spanish):

Continúa el asesinato sistemático de líderes sociales en Guerrero(Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 18 de noviembre de 2013)

Asesinan a balazos a dos dirigentes campesinos en Atoyac, Guerrero (La Jornada, 16 de noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Murder of agricultural leader Luis Olivares Enríquez (14 November 2013)

Guerrero: Using violence, 30 masked men abduct 4 men from Coyuca de Benítez (13 November 2013)

Guerrero: two nephews of ecological leadership are murdered (16 November 2012)

Guerrero: Urgent Action for disappeared ecologists (8 February 2012)

Guerrero briefs: Two ecologists are kidnapped by armed men in the Sierra de Petatlán (14 December 2011)

Chiapas: “Justice is its opposite,” declares Alberto Patishtán

March 20, 2013

Profesor Alberto Patishtán (@CGT Chiapas)

“Justice is its opposite, given that those who have committed crimes such as those accused over the Acteal case are free while those like me who are innocent continue to be imprisoned by the government,” noted Alberto Patishtán Gómez, a prisoner who had been incarcerated now for 12 years, in an interview with La Jornada.  “It would seem that one has to kill in order to leave prison,” he reiterated, referring to the mode of resolution taken by the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN), which newly ordered the release of another prisoner who had been held for presumably having participate din the 1997 Acteal massacre.  It should be recalled that now a total of 58 of the accused for this massacre have been released.  Noé Castañón, secretary of governance, has announced that in this way that it has been done with all, there will be a convention made to provide them with lands so that they do not return to Chenalhó, so as to avoid problems in the area.

Alberto Patishtán recalled that, differently, the SCJN decided not to review his own case, instead noting that the Primary Tribunal in Tuxtla Gutiérrez will be the one to decide whether or not the motion requested by his lawyers be reviewed.

For its part, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights affirmed that the primary hall of the SCJN’s action represents a negation of justice to the thousands of people who processes have been replete with irregularities.  Leonel Rivero, laywer for Patishtán, notes that regardless there is the possibility that the tribunal give him his reason and so immediately provide him his liberty.

For more information (in Spanish):

La justicia está al revés, “pareciera que hay que matar para salir de la cárcel”: Patishtán (La Jornada, 14 de marzo de 2013)

El centro Frayba demanda la libertad inmediata del tzotzil Alberto Patishtán(La Jornada, 15 de marzo de 2013)

Aún existen posibilidades de que se reconozca la inocencia de Patishtán(La Jornada, 15 de marzo de 2013)

Liberan a indígena acusado por la matanza de Acteal(La Jornada, 15 de marzo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

México/Chiapas: SCJN rejects review of case of Alberto Patishtán(20 March 2013)

Mexico/Chiapas: Alberto Patishtán should be immediately released, notes Olga Sánchez Cordero (5 March 2013)

Mexico/Chiapas: The SCJN admits the Patishtán case (12 October 2012)

Mexico/Chiapas: Postponement of the SCJN’s decision on the Patishtán case (12 October 2012)

Chiapas: Alberto Patishtán loses his sight, and request on his part (28 September 2012)

Mexico/Chiapas: Request for recognition of innocence of Alberto Patishtán before the SCJN (19 September 2012)

Chiapas: prisoner Alberto Patishtán Gómez’s latest communiqué and its coverage by La Jornada

July 19, 2010

On 5 July Alberto Patishtán Gómez, adherent to the Other Campaign who, imprisoned for 10 years, found himself until last week detained in the Vida Mejor Hospital in Tuxtla Gutierrez, released a public letter in which he denounced that “[t]elling the truth and defending the rights of future generations and of society in general is still considered to be a crime in Mexico.”  In this letter, Patishtán Gómez indicated that his experience has been that “institutional authorities” sentence Mexicans “for many years” and force them “to move from one location to another arbitrarily.”  He refers to his own experience in “captivity” in the hospital in which he has been held “for nearly six months, isolated from all.”  He adds that his health has deteriorated during his stay in the hospital, and he closes by requesting that he be returned to Prison No. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, in addition to being granted his liberty immediately.

Significantly contrasting with this account is that proferred in an unsigned article published in La Jornada on 10 July.  Seemingly citing Patishtán’s 5 July communiqué, the article erroneously affirms that Patishtán had rejected the idea that he “is being detained in the Vida Mejor Hospital” and “assures that he has received adequate medical attention from the government of Chiapas.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Alberto Patishtán’s 5 July communiqué (Chiapas Denuncia)

Alberto Patishtán claims to have received “the best medical attention” (La Jornada, 10 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: medical neglect in the case of Alberto Patishtán (25 March 2010)

Chiapas: Presentation of the “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor (26 January 2010)