MEXICO: Article 19 threatened


RAN 19/13 22 April 2013

The Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International is alarmed by the recent threats made against Darío Ramírez, director of the free expression organization Article 19 Mexico and Central America, and his team in relation to their work. On 19 April 2013, an anonymous note was found at the front door of Article 19’s office in Mexico City threatening to attack Ramírez and other staff members. PEN calls on the Mexican authorities to ensure that Ramirez and all other Article 19 staff at risk receive immediate state protection, and that the threats are investigated. It also calls on them to take urgent measures to ensure that federal authorities are finally empowered to investigate and prosecute crimes against journalists and freedom of expression.

The following is an alert issued by Article 19 on 19 April 2013:

ARTICLE 19’s Mexico office has this morning received an anonymous letter containing a direct threat of reprisal for the work that the staff undertake to protect journalists from violence.


“ARTICLE 19 in Mexico is targeted for asking uncomfortable questions and pursuing the truth: the truth about impunity; the truth about corruption; the truth behind official lies. As a result, the office that works to protect journalists and human rights defenders is itself now in need of protection,” said Dr Agnes Callamard, ARTICLE 19 executive director.

A letter was discovered this morning at the front door to the ARTICLE 19 office in Mexico City. It gives a direct threat to Director, Dario Ramirez, and the rest of the staff, expressing anger at ARTICLE 19’s work protecting journalists.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to work as a journalist or human rights defender.

“We are facing the situation with all due diligence. It is our priority to safeguard the integrity of our staff, our partners and our allies. We will continue to defend the right to freedom of expression as an essential element to exercise other rights,” stated Dario Ramirez, director of ARTICLE 19 Mexico and Central America.

The letter threatens:

“Too much fucking freedom. Let’s see how macho you are after you and your cunts are beaten up.

“We are fucking tired of you.

“We are watching you closely so don’t think you are safe.

“We will fuck you assholes. We want to fuck you over.

“You know who we are and that we can do it.

ARTICLE 19 has submitted a complaint to the state agencies in Mexico responsible for investigating such attacks, and trusts that the state protection mechanism will fulfil its mandate.

ARTICLE 19 opened its regional headquarters in 2006 and has since documented and denounced pressure against the media, journalists and others that exercise the fundamental right to freedom of expression.

“Despite this threat we will continue to defend and promote freedom of expression in Mexico,” added Dario Ramirez.

(See http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/3708/en/)

Please send appeals:

• Protesting the threats made against Dario Ramirez, director of Article 19 Mexico and Central America, and his staff in Mexico City on 19 April 2013;
• Urging the Mexican authorities to ensure that Ramirez and all other Article 19 staff members at risk receive immediate and appropriate protection under the state protection mechanism for human rights defenders and journalists;
• Calling for a prompt, full and impartial investigation into the threats, with the involvement of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE), and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice;
• Asking that federal authorities including FEADLE are empowered to investigate and prosecute crimes against journalists and freedom of expression, by ensuring that all necessary secondary laws are passed in order to implement fully the amendment to Article 73, Clause 21 of the Mexican Constitution, including making the necessary changes to the Federal Penal Code, the Federal Code on Penal Procedures and the Organic Law of the Federation’s Judiciary;
• Calling on the Mexican authorities to ensure as a matter of urgency that FEADLE is allocated sufficient financial, material and human resources in order to carry out its work;

Appeals to:

    President

Lic. Enrique Peña Nieto
Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Oficial de los Pinos Casa Miguel Alemán
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850, DISTRITO FEDERAL, México
Fax: (+ 52 55) 5093 4901/ 5277 2376
Email: enrique.penanieto@presidencia.gob.mx
Messages can also be sent via the Presidency’s website: http://www.presidencia.gob.mx/contacto/
Salutation: Señor Presidente/ Dear Mr President

    Attorney General of the Republic

Lic. Jesús Murillo Karam
Procurador General de la República
Av. Paseo de Reforma No. 211-213, Piso 16
Col. Cuauhtémoc, Delegacion Cuauhtémoc
México D.F. C.P. 06500
Tel: + 52 55 5346 0108
Fax: + 52 55 53 46 0908 (if a voice answers, ask “tono de fax, por favor”)
E-mail: ofproc@pgr.gob.mx
Messages can also be sent via the Attorney General’s website: http://www.pgr.gob.mx/servicios/mail/plantilla.asp?mail=1
Salutation: Señor Procurador General/Dear Attorney General

    Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Freedom of Expression

Lic. Laura Angelina Borbolla
Fiscal Especial para la Atención a Delitos cometidos contra la Libertad de Expresión (FEADLE)
Procurador General de la República – Subprocuraduría de Derechos Humanos
López 12, primer piso
Colonia centro, Delegacion Cuauhtémoc
México D.F. C.P. 06500
Tel: + 52 55 5346 4238
Fax: + 52 55 53 46 0908 (if a voice answers, ask “tono de fax, por favor”)
Electronic messages can be sent via the Attorney General’s website: http://www.pgr.gob.mx/servicios/mail/plantilla.asp?mail=1

Please also send copies of your appeals to the Mexican Embassy in your country.
See http://www.sre.gob.mx/index.php/representaciones/embajadas-de-mexico-en-el-exterior

***Please send appeals immediately. Check with International PEN if sending appeals after 22 June 2013.***

For further details please contact Tamsin Mitchell at the Writers in Prison Committee London Office: PEN International, Brownlow House, 50-51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER Tel: +44 (0) 207 405 0338 Fax +44 (0) 207 405 0339 email: tamsin.mitchell@pen-international.org