TWEET! #KeepingScore #Mexico must bring perpetrators of all attacks and murders of journalists and writers to justice @EPN
All statistics and cases used for the Keeping Score campaign have been selected from the Case List.
CASE LIST 2013 – MEXICO
PEN is monitoring the cases of some 49 print journalists and writers killed in Mexico since December 2006. The following list gives details of deaths in the period January to December 2013 (‘Killed: motive unknown) as well as cases from previous periods where there have been recent developments (‘Killed: official investigation ongoing’). The full list of names is available upon request.
Killed: motive unknown
*Mario Ricardo CHÁVEZ JORGE:
Profession: founder, director and contributor to the news website El Ciudadano Date of death: Between 24 May and 24 June 2013 Details of death: He was reportedly found dead in Ejido Santa Clara, Tamaulipas state, on 24 June. The authorities reportedly only confirmed his death on 27 June. Chávez’ body was discovered partially buried alongside the decapitated corpse of an unidentified female victim not thought to be connected to him. Press reports at the time indicated that the journalist had been missing for about two weeks, and that he had been kidnapped by a group of armed men as he left a cinema in Ciudad Victoria. Chávez’ Twitter account had been inactive since 22 May. Update: According to a 7 August 2013 article by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Chávez went missing on 24 May 2013; El Ciudadano website went dark at the same time. His girlfriend, who reported him missing on 30 May, reportedly told police that she had received ransom demands over the telephone. CPJ’s report also indicates that police received an anonymous telephone call on 10 June which led them to Chávez’ dismembered body. However, the state attorney general’s spokesman reportedly denied that the office had even received any report of Chávez’ death. According to federal officials, state investigators had not conducted any forensic work at Chávez’ home or at the site where his body was found. The federal attorney general’s Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE), who is conducting a parallel investigation into the case, stated that she has identified key witnesses but had not yet officially asserted jurisdiction over the case. Four people who worked for El Ciudadano had reportedly gone into hiding since Chávez’ went missing. No further information as of 31 December 2013; PEN is seeking to confirm that an investigation is on-going.
*Jaime Guadalupe GONZÁLEZ DOMÍNGUEZ:
Profession: editor and reporter for the news website Ojinaga Noticias (www.ojinaganoticias.com.mx) Date of birth: 1975 Date of death: 3 March 2013 Details of death: he was shot dead by a group of armed men in the centre of Ojinaga, Chihuahua state. González (38) was reportedly shot 18 times at close range with large-calibre firearms. The woman he was with at the time of the shooting was unharmed. Witnesses said that the only thing taken during the evening attack was González’ camera, leading to speculation that he was targeted for photographs that he had taken. According to the newspaper La Jornada, the camera contained photos of a member of a criminal gang. A spokesperson for the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s office has stated that the authorities do not consider theft to be the motive for the murder. González’ colleagues at Ojinaga Noticias believe that González was targeted for his journalism. They decided to suspend all activities the day after the murder for fear that they might also be targeted. The website covered community events, local sports, crime and politics. According to the newsweekly Proceso, González had been working on articles about issues affecting people who work on the streets and had been due to publish a second article on the subject before he was killed. Reportedly among the last stories posted on the website were two about the arrest of racketeers and recent murders in Ojinaga. On 12 March 2013, it was reported that González had received repeated written threats from persons demanding that he ignore certain subjects. For this reason, he had reportedly been considering selling the news website and moving to Mazatlán, Sinaloa state. These reports lend support to the theory that he was killed in connection with his work. No further news as of 31 December 2013. Background: Prior to setting up Ojinaga Noticias, González reportedly worked for several years as a journalist for a local weekly newspaper, Contacto, but resigned after receiving threats. Ojinaga is reportedly disputed territory for organised crime groups vying to control drug trafficking routes to the United States. [RAN 10/13]
*Alberto LÓPEZ BELLO:
Profession: crime reporter for the daily newspaper El Imparcial and reporter for Radioramastation’s police news programme “Foro Político” Date of death: 17 July 2013 Details of death: His body was found in the early hours of the morning on the outskirts of Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, next to that of Arturo Alejandro Franco, variously described in media reports as a police informant, police officer and city employee. Both bodies showed signs of gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma, although at the time the murders were reported the authorities were yet to specify the precise weapons used in the attack. López (28) and Franco had reportedly been drinking in a bar in Oaxaca the previous night. López was last heard from at three in the morning on 17 July, when he spoke to a friend; there was no indication of a problem at that time. He had worked for El Imparcial for six years and had recently written several stories about drug dealing in Oaxaca. The Oaxaca state governor reportedly instructed the attorney general to treat López’ murder as a high-impact crime and to channel the case through a special unit for crimes against journalists. Organised crime was reportedly one of the lines of enquiry being pursued by state authorities. There was some suggestion that López himself might have had links with the drugs trade; however, his colleagues have asserted that he was killed because of his journalistic work. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an email circulated among state investigators on 23 July suggested that senior officials in the state police were responsible for López’ murder because he knew of their connections to drug traffickers. On 27 July, Noticias newspaper reportedly called for an investigation into two former heads of the State Investigations Agency (AEI) for alleged involvement in López’ murder. By 30 September, according to Reporters Without Borders, the investigation had stalled and López’ family had felt forced to leave Oaxaca having received no assistance from either the authorities or El Imparcial. According to press reports, on 6 November, the state authorities and the federal attorney general’s Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) confirmed that on the basis of a joint investigation they had ruled out López’ journalism as a possible motive, favouring the theory that an argument broke out between López and a gang associated with organised crime in the bar where he and Franco had been drinking. Four men have been identified as the culprits: Julián Ramírez Benítez, Gerardo García Flores, Rafael Martínez González and Aldo Tenorio Benítez. The men reportedly confessed to the crime after being arrested in a separate murder enquiry. Lopez’ family were reportedly unconvinced by this outcome. The case remained open as of 6 November; the authorities were reportedly seeking two other people in connection with López’ murder. Background: On 18 May 2013, López was reportedly arrested by state police along with his colleague, Jacobo Robles, while photographing a sign allegedly left on a footbridge by an organised crime group. Officials confiscated their equipment and telephones and detained them for four hours until the public prosecutor’s office ordered their release on the grounds that their detention was illegal. In October 2007, three of El Imparcial’s newspaper sellers were killed while they drove in a van marked with the newspaper’s logo. The case remains unresolved.
Marco Antonio ÁVILA GARCÍA:
Profession: reporter for newspapers Diario Sonora de la Tarde and El Regional de Sonora Date of death: 17 or 18 May 2012 Details of death: He was abducted and murdered in Obregon, Sonora State. Witnesses say that he was approached at a car wash by armed men and asked if he was a journalist. After replying that he was, he was then bundled into a waiting truck. His body was discovered dumped on a road hours later. He had been tortured and then strangled to death. Police say that a note, reportedly signed by a cartel, was found near his body. They have not revealed the contents of this note. According to communications with the Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE), the case was being investigated by the attorney general of Sonora. No further information as of 31 December 2013. [RAN 26/12]
Víctor Manuel BÁEZ CHINO:
Profession: crime reporter for the daily newspaper Milenio El Portal de Veracruz and editor of the website reporterospoliciacos.mx Date of death: 14 June 2012 Details of death: According to reports, Báez Chino was kidnapped by a group of armed men as he was leaving his office late at night on 13 June. In the early hours of the next morning, his body was found dumped in a street in the state capital Xalapa near where the offices of the newspapers Oye Veracruz, Gráfico de Xalapa and Diario de Xalapa are located. Details of investigation: Local and federal authorities have said they believe Báez Chino to be a victim of organised crime. According to reports, the drugs cartel, Los Zetas, are suspected of the murder. On 15 August 2012, the Attorney General of Veracruz, Amadeo Flores Espinosa, announced that authorities had solved the case. The attorney general said that witnesses had identified two members of the Zetas cartel, who were killed in a shootout with authorities in June, as being responsible for the murder. Flores did not elaborate on the case or take any questions. The Committee to Protect Journalists and other press freedom groups are sceptical, noting that the authorities have been unwilling to provide credible details to support their announcement that the murder has been solved. No further information as of 31 December 2013. [RAN 30/12]
Susana CHÁVEZ CASTILLO (f):
Profession: prominent poet and activist who led protests against the unsolved murders of women in Ciudad Juárez since the early 1990s Date of death: 6 January 2011 Details of death: She was found strangled, with a bag over her head, and her left hand cut off, in the city centre of Ciudad Juárez on. Chávez (37) was identified only five days later. The authorities denied that her murder was related in any way to her activism and poetry, or to organised crime, despite the recent murder and harassment of numerous other local rights defenders. Details of investigation: The Chihuahua state attorney general’s office said that Chávez was killed by three teenage boys she had met while out drinking. In January 2011, the prosecution for the case was reportedly given 60 days to produce sufficient evidence to convince the judge that the juveniles deserved the maximum sentence. The Mexican National Commission of Human Rights was reportedly following the case. On 3 April 2013, a court in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua State, reportedly sentenced Sergio Ruben Cárdenas, Aarón Roberto Acevedo Martínez and Carlos Gibrán Ramírez Muñoz to 15 years in prison each for Chávez’ murder. According to reports, a trail of blood led police to Cárdenas’ home, where they found more blood and Chávez’ severed hand. Cárdenas reportedly confessed immediately following his arrest and named his two accomplices. The teenagers allegedly invited her to Cárdenas’ house and murdered her while they were drunk and high on drugs, cutting off her hand to try to make the murder look as if it was connected to organised crime. According to news reports, Chávez and the teenagers got into an argument after Cárdenas claimed that they were members of the local gang ‘Los Aztecas’. In response, Chávez reportedly told them that she was an undercover policewoman and that she would report them, at which point they took her to the bathroom and asphyxiated her. Update: According to reports, Aarón Roberto Acevedo Martínez was acquitted on appeal of his part in Chávez’ murder and released on 22 July 2013. The judge reportedly ruled that there was insufficient evidence that Acevedo was directly involved in Chávez’ murder. No further news as of 31 December 2013; PEN is seeking to confirm whether the investigation is now closed. Background: Chávez was active in organisations supporting the families and friends of the deceased women, and took part in poetry readings that she dedicated to the victims. Her death took place three weeks after the 16 December 2010 murder of human rights defender Marisela Escobedo Ortiz, a mother who fought tirelessly for justice for her daughter, Rubí Marisol, who was killed in Ciudad Juárez in 2008. At least five other rights activists had reportedly been killed in Chihuahua in the previous two years while others had been threatened and attacked. Some 1,000 mainly poor women have been murdered in the Juárez area since 1993, 300 of them in 2010 alone. Most of the murders remain unsolved and have been variously attributed to serial killers, drug cartels, domestic or sexual violence. [Women’s Day action, March 2011]
Guillermo FERNÁNDEZ GARCÍA:
Profession: poet and translator Date of birth: 2 October 1932 Date of death: 31 March 2012 Details of death: Neighbours discovered his body at his home in Toluca. He had been bound and killed with a blow to the head. Nothing was stolen by the killer or killers and the motive for the murder is unknown. However, some are suggesting that the killer(s) was/were known to Fernández as there were glasses of wine and full ashtrays in the room with the body. Details of investigation: According to official correspondence with the Mexican authorities, the case was referred to Mexico’s attorney general. On 4 April 2013, it was reported that attorney general’s office had failed to make headway in its investigation. No further information as of 31 December 2013. [RAN 16/12]
Rocio GONZÁLEZ TRÁPAGA (f) and Ana María Marcela YARCE VIVEROS (f):
Profession: freelance journalist and former Televisa reporter; and founder, reporter and head of public relations of the bimonthly political magazine Contralinea, respectively Date of death: 1 September 2011 Date of birth: Both born c.1964 Details of death: they were found dead near a cemetery in a park in a poor neighbourhood of the capital Mexico City on, along with Yarce and González, both 48, were reportedly abducted as they left their office in the city centre the previous night and strangled. Their bodies were found naked with nooses around their necks and their hands tied behind their backs. Details of investigation: According to a letter to PEN from the Mexican Presidency dated 13 September 2011, the case was referred to the federal attorney general. However, according to another letter from the Special Prosecutor for the Attention of Crimes against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) also dated 13 September 2011, the case was being investigated by the Mexico City attorney general’s office although FEADLE had offered its assistance. According to a press report dated 21 June 2012, the Mexico City attorney general’s office considered its investigation into Yarce and González’ murders closed following the detention of four suspects. Two men, Oscar Yair Quiñones Emmer and Lázaro Hernández Ángeles, were arrested on 30 September and 1 October 2011 respectively, suspected of killing the journalists. A third man, Jonathan González Tapia, was arrested in June 2012, suspected of providing the weapons used during the attack; an unnamed youth has also been implicated in their murders. According to Federal District prosecutor Miguel Ángel Mancera, the motive for the murders was robbery. Quiñones and Hernández reportedly confessed they had attacked the two women to rob them of a large sum of money. Quiñones had known Yarce for three years since working as a parking attendant at the offices of Contralínea. Yarce was reportedly not involved in any specific journalism projects at the time of her death. González, who owned a currency exchange point at Mexico City’s international airport, apparently withdrew a large amount of money on the afternoon of 31 August 2011, according to Article 19. Printable versionConvictions: On 19 September 2012 it was reported that Lázaro Hernández Ángeles was sentenced to 109 years in prison for the murders of Yarce and Trápaga and ordered to pay one million pesos in damages along with 94,515 pesos in compensation. The trial against Oscar Yair Quiñones Emmer was on-going. No further news on Quiñones’ trial as of 31 December 2013; PEN is seeking an update. [RAN 47/11]
Ramón Abel LÓPEZ AGUILAR:
Profession: editor of the website Tijuana Informativo and photojournalist Date of birth: 1959 Date of death: 14 October 2012 Details of death: López Aguilar was abducted by an armed group in Tijuana, Baja California state and shot dead. His body was found on a street in Tijuana the next morning; he died of a single gunshot to the head, according to the state attorney general’s office. Details of investigation: The state authorities began an investigation into his murder, including the possibility that the shooting was related to his journalistic work. On 16 October 2012, it was reported that López’ son-in-law, who also worked for the website, had been arrested as a suspect on the grounds that there were contradictions in his police statement; however the police were yet to establish a motive for the killing. Tijuana Informativo had recently reported on drug trafficking and organized crime in the region. On 19 October 2012 it was reported that inconsistencies in information pertaining to the circumstances leading up to López’ abduction and when his body was found have complicated the investigation. Initial reports placed the kidnapping at 5 a.m. at a bar in the Zona Río. Subsequent reports by the deputy attorney suggest that López Aguilar was kidnapped at 3:15 a.m. whilst travelling with his son-in-law to hospital to receive treatment for a head injury incurred at home. Furthermore, disparities have been found in relation to the time at which the body was found. It was also reported that within a few hours of his murder, the state attorney general had ruled out a link between López’ death and his work as a journalist and the investigation was focusing on López’ son-in-law. The deputy attorney for organised crime in Baja California cited the delay taken for the son-in-law to report the kidnapping to the authorities and gunshot residue found on him as reasons for making him the prime suspect. No further news as of 31 December 2013. [RAN 69/12]
Regina MARTÍNEZ (f):
Profession: journalist for investigative news magazine Proceso Date of death: 28 April 2012 Details of death: She was found beaten and strangled at her home in Veracruz state. She had reported on drug trafficking and organised crime. Details of investigation: According to communications with the Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE), the state attorney general of Veracruz was investigating the crime, with the participation of the federal attorney general. No motive was known, although a possible link with her writing was being investigated. However, according to reports in July and August 2012, investigators had interpreted the murder as a crime of passion, and had almost solely been interviewing other journalists. This interpretation and approach has been strongly criticised by journalists who have demonstrated in the streets calling for a justice for Martínez. They believe that the police should be investigating links with organised crime. On 2 November 2012, it was reported that the man charged with Martínez’ murder, Jorge Hernández Silva, had retracted his confession, claiming that he had been tortured and his mother threatened if he did not confess to the murder. Upon Hernández’ arrest, the state attorney general had given the motive for murder as robbery, using his confession as the principal piece of evidence against him. DNA samples taken from the scene reportedly do not match anyone on the national criminal database and therefore rule out Hernández, owing to his criminal record. Mexican law allows Proceso and the FEADLE to participate fully in the investigation alongside the state authorities; however, both reported being excluded from the investigation. Neither Proceso’s appointed reporter nor FEADLE were party to the line of enquiry that led to Hernández’ arrest. Proceso’s appointed reporter has noted that “at no point did the state ever consider Regina’s journalistic work as a possible motive for murder.” On 13 November 2012, it was reported that the authorities had confirmed the motive for Martínez’ murder was robbery after her watch was recovered. The man in possession of the watch indicated that Jorge Hernández Silva and José Adrián Hernández Domínguez had sold it to him. According to reports, the authorities identified Hernández Domínguez as Martínez’ boyfriend and named him as the principle suspect. He remains at large. Verdict: On 10 April 2013 it was reported that a judge had sentenced Jorge Hernández Silva to 38 years and 60 days in prison for Martínez’ murder. According to reports, Hernández Silva, who initially confessed to the murder, “did not provide evidence of his innocence”. While the state case was considered closed with the conviction of Hernández Silva, a federal investigation reportedly remained open. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, two federal investigators doubted Hernández Silva’s guilt based on the evidence collected at the scene. Acquittal: On 8 August 2013, Hernández Silva sentence was revoked by the Veracruz State Supreme Court, citing insufficient evidence on the basis that the confession was allegedly obtained under torture. No further information as of 31 December 2013. [RAN 23/12]
René ORTA SALGADO:
Profession: political activist and ex-El Sol de Cuernavaca journalist with 20 years’ experience Date of death: 12 or 13 May 2012 Details of death: he was reported missing by his family on 12 May 2012; his body was discovered in the boot of his car in Cuernavaca, Morelos state, 24 hours later, on 13 May 2012. A scarf had been taped across his face. Reports suggested that he had been stabbed and strangled. According to the Mexican authorities, Orta had not received any death threats previously. Orta was a vocal supporter of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) political party, which was then in opposition. Details of investigation: On 19 May 2012, it was reported that investigations by the Morelos State Attorney’s Office were underway. In a press conference the investigating authorities confirmed that the cause of death was stab wounds, a blow to the head and strangulation and that the journalist had not been bound and gagged. The authorities have ruled out organised crime as a possible cause of death owing to the lack of a note and the fact that while the body did show signs of a beating, the marks were not made by a gun. The authorities announced that they hoped to establish a timeline of events leading up to his murder and identify those who were last to see him alive once they have received all of the surveillance footage. No further news as of 31 December 2013. [RAN 25/12]
Adrián SILVA MORENO:
Profession: freelance journalist and crime reporter for local media outlets including the newspapers Global México and Puntual Puebla Date of birth: c.1978 Date of death: 14 November 2012 Details of death: he was shot dead along with a former policeman in Tehuacán, Puebla state. Silva (34) had been covering an army investigation into the theft of gasoline from a government petroleum company in Tehuacán, an area said to be controlled by organised criminal groups. Silva reportedly called another journalist to tell him he had witnessed an armed stand-off between soldiers and gunmen and that he had found something important at the scene of the theft which he would explain later. However, his car was then apparently intercepted and he was shot dead; his body was found with multiple gunshot wounds. His passenger, former municipal policeman Misrael López González, was shot in the head after he fled from the car. On 19 November it was reported that family members and colleagues of Silva who had attempted to visit his body at the morgue where it had been taken had received threats from unidentified individuals. The police subsequently sent officers to protect the morgue. The motive for Silva’s murder was unknown, but colleagues suspected that it may have been related to his reporting on the gasoline theft. He is not known to have received threats from organised criminal groups prior to his death. Details of investigation: On 20 November 2012, it was reported that investigators were pursuing organised crime as one of their main lines of enquiry. In addition, investigators found finger prints, suspected to belong to those responsible, on a truck left 150 metres from the scene. On 29 November 2012, the Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) reportedly commented that Silva’s case may be passed on to local authorities because he was not active as a journalist at the time his murder. She also announced that the sheer number of avenues for investigation made it impractical for her office to investigate the case. No further update as of 31 December 2013. [RAN 74/12]
Marco Antonio LÓPEZ ORTIZ:
Profession: news editor for the daily newspaper Novedades Acapulco Details of abduction: was reportedly kidnapped in Acapulco, Guerrero state, on 7 June 2011. That night López (42) left work and was later assaulted by unidentified men who took him away. López was responsible for overseeing the paper’s coverage of crime, among other responsibilities. According to local journalists, organised crime groups constantly threaten them to keep coverage to a minimum. Novedades Acapulco’s reports on crime are accordingly kept brief and do not probe the facts reported, in order to avoid angering and being targeted by the groups. Investigation: The state attorney general began an investigation and the National Human Rights Commission was reportedly also looking into the disappearance. The office of former president Calderón sent a letter dated 18 July 2011 to PEN International, saying that López’ case had been referred to the Federal Attorney General (Procuraduría General de la República). Update: In June 2012, a year after López’ disappearance, it was reported that there had been no progress in the investigation. The case reportedly remained unsolved as of 31 December 2012. No further news as of 31 December 2013. [RAN 33/11]
Gabriel Manuel FONSECA HERNÁNDEZ:
Profession: police reporter for the newspaper El Mañanero based in the municipality of Acayucan, southern Veracruz state Date of disappearance: Has been missing since 19 September 2011. According to the newspaper’s director, Fonseca (19) was last seen when he came to the paper’s offices to collect his wages that day. Witnesses claimed to have seen Fonseca in Acayucan later that afternoon but he did not return home that night and has not responded to calls to his mobile phone. His father reported him missing to the authorities on 21 September 2011. Fonseca, who previously worked for the newspapers El Diario de Acayucan and La Verdad de Jáltipan, covered the police beat for El Mañanero but did not report on matters directly related to organised crime, according to the paper’s director. The investigation was referred to the attorney general’s office. Investigation: On 18 September 2012, a year after Fonseca’s disappearance, it was reported that the case had been referred to the Agencia del Ministerio Público Especializada en Delitos Cometidos contra la Prensa and the Special Prosecutor for the Attention of Crimes against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) but that there had apparently been no progress in the investigation. Reports dated 24 September 2013 indicate that no further progress had been made on the investigation. [RAN 51/11]
*Sergio LANDA ROSADO:
Profession: police reporter for the newspaper Diario Cardel, based in the municipality of La Antigua, Veracruz state Date of birth: c.1967 Date of disappearance: 22 January 2013 Details of disappearance: has not been seen since leaving his offices on 22 January 2013. Landa (45) was reportedly last seen at Diario Cardel’s offices where he was preparing material to send to print; he failed to return home that evening and was reported missing the next day. Details of investigation: Ministerial and state authorities were reportedly coordinating their efforts to find the reporter. Landa’s case is under investigation by the Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE). Background: According to reports, colleagues nicknamed Landa the “oilcloth reporter” owing to the fact he had escaped unharmed from previous attacks. Landa was reportedly kidnapped by an armed group in November 2012, later being released after the intervention of federal forces. After his release, Landa reportedly went into hiding with the support of the state government, but returned to Diario Cardel in January 2013 following the murder of a man who had been identified as the leader of the group which had kidnapped him. Landa had a brief incursion in politics in 2012 when he ran as a candidate for federal congress for Nueva Alianza, however, he pulled out prior to the elections, citing disenchantment with the party. According to a 30 September 2013 report, Landa remained missing. No further information as of 31 December 2013; PEN is seeking to establish whether an investigation is ongoing. [RAN 20/13]
Enrique ARANDA OCHOA:
Profession: university teacher and writer Sentence: 57 years in prison Date of arrest: 25 June 1996. He has been imprisoned along with his brother since 1996 for allegedly kidnapping the daughter of a politician. Details of arrest and detention: Arrested with his brother Adrián Aranda Ochoa, the pair were accused of several crimes, including kidnapping and carrying weapons. They were later charged with kidnapping Lorena Pérez-Jácome F., a television presenter and the daughter of an Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) politician who has been a senator and presidential spokesman. They were also charged with robbery. The brothers were allegedly tortured while in the custody of the police and Public Ministry and forced to sign confessions. Details of trial: In August 1997, both brothers were sentenced to 57 years in prison, confirmed in December that year. The allegations of torture were not taken into account. Retrial: Following a retrial, the brothers’ sentence was reduced to 40 years in January 2005. This was further reduced to 32 years in March 2007 after the robbery charge was dropped, and in December 2008 to 24 years and six months. Torture allegations: The brothers filed a complaint against the state for torture and abuse of authority. In May 1999, a medical certificate was issued showing that they had been tortured. In 2002, the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District (CDHDF) issued a recommendation calling for those responsible for torturing the Aranda brothers to be brought to justice and that the brothers should be awarded reparations. The recommendation was accepted by the Attorney General, however it has yet to be implemented. Place of detention: imprisoned in Reclusorio Sur prison in Mexico City as of October 2010 and were believed still to be held there as of 31 December 2012. Denial of parole: As of July 2010, the brothers were hoping to be released on parole. According to reports, Enrique Aranda was denied release on parole at a hearing on 9 August 2013. The presiding judge reportedly ruled that he had not fulfilled all the requirements of the law in order to be permitted parole. While he had met the provision of good conduct while in prison, it was determined that he had not sufficiently participated in work, educational, sporting or other activities organised by the prison. He was reportedly being held in Varonil Sur prison. Possible reasons for arrest: The reasons for the brothers’ arrest are not clear. However, Enrique Aranda believes his arrest and conviction were due to his political activism and open criticism of the former PRI administration. When he was initially detained he was questioned about his political activities. He claims that the legal process has been marred by political pressure throughout. PEN position: PEN holds no position on Aranda’s guilt or innocence. It is concerned by the allegations that he was tortured and calls on the Mexican authorities to implement CDHDF’s recommendation. Background: Enrique Aranda lectured for several years in political psychology at the Iberoamerican University in Mexico and is a former president of the Mexican Association of Psychologists. Since his imprisonment, he has become a prolific writer, having produced six books of poems, short stories, plays, novels and non-fiction, all unpublished to date. His work has reportedly earned him some 11 national awards. Adrián Aranda is an accountant.
*Alejandra Natalia RODRÍGUEZ (f):
Profession: journalist for the independent news website Somos el Medio Details of detention: she was reportedly detained and beaten by police during protests on 1 December 2013. She was reportedly denied medical attention after she fainted following the incident. Rodríguez suffered injuries to her arms and wrists.
Anabel HERNÁNDEZ (f):
Profession: award-winning journalist and author, currently a freelance contributor to the investigative newsweekly magazine Proceso and the daily newspaper Reforma (previously worked for Milenio, its investigative supplement La Revista (now emeequis) and newspaper and website Reporte Índigo). Hernández also writes books on corruption and the abuse of power in Mexican politics, including La Familia Presidencial (2005), Fin de fiesta en Los Pinos (2006), Los Señores del Narco (Grijalbo, Random House Mondadori, 2010) [translated in English as Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and their Godfathers, Verso, September 2013] and México en llamas (2012).
Details of threats/ attacks: Hernández has received constant death threats since late 2010, following the publication of Los Señores del Narco (2010) which reveals alleged links between drug trafficking cartels and the Mexican state. In the book, she makes a number of controversial allegations against public figures, including accusing Genaro García Luna – who at the time was Federal Secretary of Public Security – of illicit enrichment and complicity with organised crime while he was serving as former president Felipe’s Calderón’s chief of police (see January-June 2011 case list for details). In December 2010, Hernández made public an alleged plot to have her killed involving officials working for García Luna and the federal police. Since that time, Hernández’ sources have been subjected to harassment, intimidation and even murder. In January 2011, armed men reportedly burst in on a gathering of Hernández’ family members and threatened them with guns. Hernández herself had left the gathering by this point, but given that no attempt was made to use any of the credit cards which were stolen she believes that this was an attempt to intimidate her and her family rather than a robbery. Update: In an interview with PEN International on 13 September 2013, Hernández explained that the threats against her continue. On 5 June 2013, two boxes containing decapitated animals – one kid and four cockerels – were left on the doorstep of her house. She believes that this was a warning to her and her bodyguards that they are being watched: in Mexico ‘goat’ can mean a ‘grass’ or ‘snitch’. That day there were four policemen on duty to protect her (there are usually five), and the boxes were delivered at a time when Hernández is usually at home yet when her police guards were momentarily absent. According to Hernández, earlier that day she had gone to talk to the National Commissioner for Public Security (Comisionado Nacional de Seguridad Pública), Manuel Mondragón y Kalb, about her case, on the recommendation of the Sub Secretary for Human Rights (Subsecretaría de Derechos Humanos), Lía Limón García. Hernández believes that García Luna may have found out that she had visited Mondragón, who occupies García Luna’s former offices, and ordered the incident. On 21 December 2013, a group of a dozen men armed with AK-47 rifles and hand guns reportedly broke into Hernández’ home. The men forced entry to three other residences in order to find out where she lived and deactivated security cameras in the neighbourhood. While Hernández was not at home at the time of the incident, one of her bodyguards was attacked and briefly detained. The motive for the home invasion remains unclear; the assailants reportedly first identified themselves as agents of the Federal Police before later claiming to belong to the Zetas drug cartel. Details of investigation/protection: Hernández reported the 2010 plot to the Mexican National Human Rights Commission and the Mexico City Attorney General’s office (PGJDF). According to Hernández, the PGJDF did little to investigate but provided her with 24-hour protection for her and her two daughters from the Mexico City police. She reported the January 2011 attack to the Federal Attorney General’s office (FGR). Update: In March 2013, Hernández reportedly learned that García Luna was still planning retaliation against her for her investigations. Hernández reported the June 2013 incident to the PGR and provided them with footage from a neighbour’s CCTV, but they have yet to inform her about any progress in the investigation. She also has filed a complaint in regard to the December 2013 incident with Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE), who has reportedly opened a preliminary investigation into the incident. In March 2013, she was informed that the PGJDF no longer had jurisdiction over her case, since her file containing her 2010 complaint had been transferred to the Federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) to be merged with her 2011 complaint, and as a result it was discontinuing her police protection. The PGR offered her protection from the Ministerial Federal Police (PF), however Hernández refused on the grounds that she believes this would endanger rather than protect her: she has denounced corruption in the PF in her work for years and believes that many of the PF’s head officials are allied with García Luna. Following international pressure, the protection from the Mexico City police was extended but as of year-end reportedly remained under review by the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists. Background: According to reports, on 16 December 2013 Forbes Magazine listed García Luna as one of Mexico’s ten most corrupt people, citing Los Señores del Narco as a source. On the same day García Luna reportedly wrote to the editor of the magazine to criticise the article and the rigour of the sources it used.
Profession: editor-in-chief of Zócalo Details of threat: Received death threats on 7 and 8 March 2013, reportedly orchestrated by organised crime groups. According to reports, banners were hung in the streets of various cities across the Coahuila region, threatening him with death. Details of investigation/protection: the Coahuila state interior minister reportedly announced that steps had been taken to protect the newspaper, however, on 11 March, Zócalo announced that it would no longer cover news related to organised crime in order to protect the lives of its employees.
*Guillermo BARROS, Alejandro MEDINA and Daniela PANIAGUA (f):
Profession: Barros is a correspondent with Agence France-Presse (AFP), while Paniagua and Media are freelance journalists. Details of attack: On 2 October 2013, Barros was reportedly beaten over the head with a truncheon by police despite identifying himself as a journalist, while he covered the commemorative march of the Tlatelolco Massacre. Paniagua and Medina were reportedly briefly arbitrarily detained by police while covering the same march. Background: According to reports, four journalists with AFP were beaten during the march including photojournalists Yuri Cortez and Alfredo Estrellas. Nayeli Roldán, journalist for Efekto Noticias, reportedly had her equipment confiscated while she attempted to film the detention of protestors. A number of photographers including Omar Franco Pérez (El Sol de México), Nicolás Tavira (Notimex press agency), Xilonel Perez (Subversiones press agency), Heriberto Paredes (Subversiones press agency), Arturo Ramos, Consuelo Pagaza and Iván Castaniera were reportedly beaten by police. In total, Reporters Without Borders recorded attacks against more than 15 journalists at the hands of protestors and the police.
*Angel Elías MÉNDEZ MORALES:
Profession: managing editor of Michoacán-based newspaper Entérese Details of attack: He was reportedly attacked, along with a colleague, by a vigilante “self-defence” group on 14 August 2013. According to reports, stones were thrown at the two men, their car was ransacked and equipment was seized. Additionally, they were reported to have been prevented from leaving the town which forced them to hide, without food or water for most of the day. Background: At dawn on 14 August, troops and police reportedly arrested 45 alleged members of an armed civilian group in the town of Aquila. Vigilante groups emerged in March 2013 with the aim of combating organised crime.
*Jorge CARRASCO ARAIZAGA:
Profession: reporter for the magazine Proceso Details of threat: He has investigated the murder of his late colleague Regina Martínez Pérez (see ‘Killed: investigation ongoing’). In an article published on 16 April 2013, Proceso alleged that current and former Veracruz state officials, the police and the Veracruz attorney general had met in Las Ánimas, Xalapa, in order to agree on actions to take against Carrasco in response to his most recent article on Martínez’ case published on 14 April 2013. According to reports, the officials agreed to search for personal information on Carrasco using all national databases and on 15 April 2013 agreed to capture him. The National Commission for Human Rights (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, CNDH), the federal attorney general and the ministry of the interior have reportedly been informed by Proceso of the developments and are working to protect the journalist. Those reported to have been involved in the meetings have vehemently denied the claims; the state attorney general published an open letter denying the allegations and reiterating his commitment to freedom of expression, urging the magazine to share its evidence to allow for an investigation. According to a letter to PEN from the coordinator of the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists dated 10 June 2013, Carrasco has been receiving protection from the mechanism since April 2013, and the mechanism’s National Executive Coordinating body is in constant contact with him. No further information as of 31 December 2013.
Profession: director of the news website Periodismo Negro Details of threat: On 5 July 2013, it was reported that Delgado was receiving threats related to his journalism. A group of people linked to a political party had reportedly threatened to detain and beat him, and warned that retaliation may be taken against his family members who work for the state government. The threats were thought to be in response to a video, widely circulated by local and nation media outlets, that shows a National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional, PAN) representative having a conversation with a 15-year-old, with whom he was allegedly having a romantic relationship. Delgado had been reporting on the actions of this PAN representative since January 2013. In addition to the threats, Delgado had also received intimidating comments via social media in connection with his coverage. No further information as of 31 December 2013.
Profession: editor of the news website Agoraguerrero Details of threat: reportedly received anonymous threats in relation to an article published on the website on 12 March 2013 which addressed a federal police officer’s presumed murder in Acapulco, Guerrero state. Details of investigation/protection: Lugo immediately filed a complaint and notified the federal prosecutor’s office about the threats. He was reportedly advised that the prosecutor’s office would be unable to provide him with protection and that he should stay in a hotel. Lugo subsequently fled Guerrero with the help of the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists. No further news as of 31 December 2013.
*Pedro MATÍAS ARRAZOLA:
Profession: correspondent for Proceso magazine and anchor of an online news show Details of threat: reportedly received threats relating to a story he published about a visit to Oaxaca by the country’s subsidised milk director, according to reports on 5 August 2013. Matías reportedly also received threats in May 2012 after revealing electoral fraud attempts in Oaxaca. No further information as of 31 December 2013.
Profession: director of the free expression organisation Article19’s Mexico & Central America office Details of threat: He received an anonymous note on 19 April 2013 that made direct threats against him and the Article19 team based in Mexico City. The letter, discovered at the front door of Article19’s office in Mexico City, made reference to there being “too much freedom” and threatened to beat up and otherwise attack Article 19 staff members. Article 19 submitted a complaint to the state agencies in Mexico responsible for investigating such attacks. Ramírez announced that, while they were working to ensure the safety of staff, they would continue to defend and promote freedom of expression in Mexico. Details of investigation: In a letter to PEN dated 22 May 2013, the Office for Human Rights said that an investigation was underway by the Special Prosecutor for Attention to Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE). No further information as of 31 December 2013.
*Alfredo Valadez RODRÍGUEZ and Horacio ZALDIVAR ESPINO:
Profession: journalist and author; and head of ABZ Noticias news agency respectively Details of threat: Reportedly were subjected to intimidation after they both exposed the death toll of clashes between criminal groups in the national daily newspaper La Jornada, according to a 30 September 2013 article. According to reports, the authorities denied Zaldivar and Valadez’ assertions and launched a hostile campaign against them. Zaldivar then received threatening telephone calls that reportedly came from a communications area used by the local government of Zacatecas. No further information as of 31 December 2013.
*Ana Lilia PÉREZ (f):
Profession: author of the books Camisas Azules, manos negras and El Cártel Negro and reporter for Contralínea magazine Details of harassment: On 18 March 2013 it was reported that Pérez was banned from writing about a senator’s work due to a moral damages suit filed against her. Pérez claims that she has been the subject of persecution by the senator since Congress created a body to investigate claims made in her book Camisas azules, manos negras in December 2010. She has dedicated part of her professional career to investigating and writing about cases of high-level corruption in Petróles Mexicanos (PEMEX), Mexico’s state-owned oil company. She claims to have been subject to death threats, harassment, assault, persecution, and “a recurring abuse of power” as a result of her work. In June 2012, Pérez reportedly fled Mexico for Germany, following serious threats to her life. No further information as of 31 December 2013.
Raúl Régulo GARZA QUIRINO:
Profession: reporter for the weekly newspaper La Ultima Palabra Date of death: 6 January 2012 Details of death: Shot dead by a gang in Cadereyta, Nuevo León state. Garza, who also worked for the local government’s department of social development, was driving his car when another car began pursuing him. Although he sought refuge in a garage owned by a relative, Garza was unable to escape, and his assailants shot him numerous times. At least 16 shots were fired during the attack. No clear motive for the attack was identified. However, Cadereyta was at the time a stronghold of Los Zetas, a violent drug cartel implicated in the murders of other journalists. Details of investigation: After a preliminary investigation, police speculated that the killing might have been a case of mistaken identity. No further update as of 31 December 2013; case closed due to lack of information. [RAN 02/12]
Javier MOYA MUÑOZ and Héctor Javier SALINAS AGUIRRE:
Profession: director and journalist, respectively, of local news website Futuro.mx and press spokesman for the city of Chihuahua Date of death: 20 April 2012 Details of death: they were shot dead in a massacre at a bar in Chihuahuaha. Salinas had worked in radio and was a former press chief for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which at the time was in opposition. Moya was a veterinarian and chief news officer for a local radio station. The two were killed when gunmen burst into La Colorada bar, demanded to know the whereabouts of particular individuals, and then opened fire, killing 15 people. The motive for the attack was suspected to be drug-related. Details of investigation: On 16 February 2013, Luis Enrique Jiménez Zavala, José Arturo Barrón Rodríguez and Luis Alberto Camacho Ramos were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of the journalists and 14 others in the La Colorada bar. It is thought that Salinas and Moya were victims of circumstance.