National: Latest wave of violence and attacks against communication media in Mexico

October 8, 2015

Instalaciones de Regeneración Radio @RegeneraciónRadio FacebookInstallations of Regeneración Radio @RegeneraciónRadio Facebook

On 21 September, members of the shock-group Third of March violently entered the hall of the College of Arts and Sciences (CCH) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), attacking the activists who operate Regeneración Radio, destroying and robbing materiel and equipment.

In a communique, representatives from the university condemned the events and reported that a penal denunciation would be presented to local and federal authorities whom they hold responsible for the acts and the damages incurred by the university. Students indicated to La Jornada that before 3pm, approximately 100 militants forcibly entered the hall and beat the activists who attempted to block their passage. UNAM reported that the confrontation left three injured, “none of them gravely.” José Luis Suaste, member of Regeneración Radio, said that members of the collective had been threatened and attacked for several days, and for this reason he reported on the existence of an “increase in violence,” the cessation of transmissions from the radio station, and called for the space to be defended.

It bears mentioning that Heriberto Paredes, a photojournalist from the Autonomous Agency for Communication Subversiones, denounced a death-threat made against his person on 31 August in Mexico City. Previously he had received three death-threats on the phone on 15 May and 7 and 13 July, while on 10 June he was harassed at the same Metro station as this last occasion. In this way, another member of Subversiones received a death-threat via telephone on 2 June. Moreover, in September the home of journalists and reporters from Desinformémonos and the magazine Contralínea were broken into, while in August the journalist-activist Rubén Espinosa Becerril and Nadia Vera Pérez, human-rights defender, were murdered together with three other women in Mexico City.

For more information (in Spanish):

Regeneración Radio cesa sus transmisiones (Regeneración Radio, 21 de septiembre de 2015)

Chocan “porros” y estudiantes en CCH Vallejo; 4 heridos (La Jornada, 21 de septiembre)

El porrismo, un cáncer que se expande, ataca a Regeneración Radio ( Subversiones, 21 de septiembre de 2015)

CCH Vallejo: Denuncian daños, violencia y destrucción contra Regeneración Radio. (Radio Pozol, 21 de septiembre de 2015)

21 sep: Agresión en proceso contra Regeneración Radio, saqueo de cabina y 2 heridos (Regeneración Radio, 21 de septiembre)

Porros atacaron a activistas del CCH Vallejo que operan una estación de radio (La Jornada, 22 de septiembre)

La UNAM denunciará toma violenta del CCH Vallejo (Proceso, 22 de septiembre)

Recuento de los daños, violencia y destrucción contra la comunicación libre (Ké Huelga Radio, 22 de septiembre de 2015)

Repudio a las agresiones contra estudiantes del CCH Vallejo (La Izquierda Diaro, 22 de septiembre de 2015)

Comunicado colectivo ante agresiones recientes (SubVersiones, 4 de septiembre de 2015)

Amenazan de muerte a reportero de Subversiones; es la quinta agresión contra el medio este año (Sin Embargo, 3 de septiembre de 2015)

Amenazan de muerte en la Cd de México a fotoperiodista de la Agencia Subversiones (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 1 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Journalist house of Contralínea and Desinformémonos harassed, with computer equipment and documentation stolen (13 September 2015)

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/Mexico: Torture and murder of journalist and four women

September 10, 2015

Foto @ Cuartoscuro

Photo @ Cuartoscuro

The photojournalist Rubén Espinosa Becerril, who specialized in covering social movements and militated against attacks on the press in Veracruz, was killed together with four women in Mexico City after having decided to move to the nation’s capital given that, since June, he had noted that armed persons were following him and taking pictures of him.  The photographer, who worked freelance for Proceso and Cuartoscuro, warned of his situation to Article 19, the international NGO that defends journalists, and the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) based in New York.  “I have no faith in any State institution.  I do not have faith in the government.  Instead, I fear for my comrades and for myself,” he said.  The Proceso magazine expressed that he had “become a problematic photojournalist for the government,” given that Espinosa took the very photo of the Veracruz governor, Javier Duarte, which was published on the cover of the 1946 issue (15 February 2014) of Proceso, which bothered the potentate.  In Veracruz, the state government reportedly bought up a multiplicity of the issue.

Veracruz is considered the most dangerous state to conduct journalism in Mexico, as 13 journalists have been murdered and three disappeared since 2011, when Javier Duarte began to govern.  In July, Rubén Espinosa had been severe with the Veracruzan state government: “It is saddening to think of Veracruz.  There are no words to say how bad that state is, with that government and the state of the press, and how well-off is corruption.  Death seeks out Veracruz.  Death has decided to install itself there,” he observed in an interview.

The prosecutor Rodolfo Ríos said that “the bodies presented each with a gunshot wound in the head and excoriation in various parts.”  Espinosa and the four women were killed by coup de grace.  Beyond this, sources consulted by Sin Embargo added that the bodies showed signs of having been tortured for a prolonged period, while other media indicated that the women could have been raped.

The identity of the four women who were murdered has not been published in official media, but the names of two of them have been released.  One was a friend of Espinosa’s, named Nadia Vera Pérez.  She was an activist with the student movement #IAm132.  The other was Yesenia Quiroz Alfaro, 18 years of age, originally from Mexicali, Baja California.  Another could have been a Colombian woman of 29 years of age, but her name has yet to be released.  The fourth woman was identified as a domestic worker of 40 years of age.  She hailed from Mexico State.

On 2 August, hundreds of journalists, relatives, friends, and citizens carried out a rally at the Angel of Independence and a mobilization before the offices of the Veracruzan government, where they hung a black bun and images of the executed journalist.

For more information (in Spanish):

Rubén Espinosa, un fotógrafo ‘incómodo’ para el gobierno de Duarte (Proceso, 2 de agosto de 2015)

Hemeroteca de la revista Proceso sobre Rubén Espinosa

“La muerte escogió a Veracruz como su casa y decidió vivir ahí”, dice fotógrafo en el exilio (Sin embargo, 1 de julio de 2015)

Rubén Espinosa y las cuatro mujeres recibieron cada uno un tiro de gracia (El País, 3 de agosto de 2015)

Con tiro de gracia, fotoperiodista y 4 mujeres asesinados en la Narvarte (La Jornada, 3 de agosto de 2015)

La evidencia deja en ridículo la versión de “robo” de la PGJDF y pone en la mira a Javier Duarte (Sin embargo, 1 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)