Home Page > News Item > MEXICO: News website editor shot dead in Chihuahua

RAN 11/13 6 March 2013

The Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International protests the murder of website editor and reporter Jaime Guadalupe González Domínguez, who was shot dead in Ojinaga, Chihuahua state, on 3 March 2013. PEN calls for a thorough investigation into his murder and for those responsible to be brought to justice. It also calls on the Mexican government to take urgent measures to ensure that the ‘federalisation’ of crimes against journalists and freedom of expression becomes effective.

Editor and reporter for the news website Ojinaga Noticias (www.ojinaganoticias.com.mx), Jaime Guadalupe González Domínguez was shot dead by a group of armed men in the centre of Ojinaga, Chihuahua state, on the evening of 3 March 2013. 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 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. Reporters Without Borders notes that among the last stories posted on the website were two about the arrest of racketeers and recent murders in Ojinaga.

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.

González is the first journalist to be killed since President Enrique Peña Nieto came into office in December 2012. Ojinaga is reportedly disputed territory for organised crime groups vying to control drug trafficking routes to the United States.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to be a journalist. González’ death brings to 47 the number of print and internet journalists and writers murdered in Mexico since December 2006, when former president Felipe Calderón began his armed offensive against the drug cartels. At least eight other print journalists have disappeared in the same period. Few if any of these crimes have been solved.

PEN International has this week submitted a report on this violence and impunity in Mexico to the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights as part of the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review. In its report, PEN calls for full and transparent federal-level investigations into the murder and disappearance of journalists and writers as well as investigations into all allegations of attacks carried out by government entities. PEN also calls for the strengthening of Mexico’s new protection mechanism for journalists and human rights defenders. The report and full recommendations can be viewed here: http://www.pen-international.org/pen-international-and-pen-guadalajara-contribution-to-the-17th-session-of-the-working-group-of-the-universal-periodic-review-submission-on-mexico/

In late 2012, PEN International published the anthology Write Against Impunity, a literary protest highlighting the escalating violence against journalists, writers and bloggers in Latin America – in particular Mexico, Honduras and Brazil – and the impunity enjoyed by those who commit these crimes. For more information, see http://www.pen-international.org/write-against-impunity-2012-2/

    Please send appeals:

• Calling for a full and impartial investigation into the murder of website editor and reporter Jaime Guadalupe González Domínguez, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice;

• Urging the Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) to take up the case;

• 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;

• Urging the authorities to do more to tackle the widespread corruption at local and state levels that slows and often prevents proper, objective investigations into the murders of journalists and writers, and perpetuates impunity.

    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

    State Attorney General

Lic. Carlos Manuel Salas
Fiscal General del Estado de Chihuahua
Calle Vicente Guerrero 616 Col. Centro
Chihuahua, Chihuahua
Tel: +52 614 429 3385 (switchboard: +52 614 429 3300)
Fax +52 614 415 0314
Email: csalas@chihuahua.gob.mx
Messages can also be sent via the State Attorney General’s website: http://fiscalia.chihuahua.gob.mx/intro/?page_id=450#.UTdS9xzJTKM
Salutation: Señor Fiscal General del Estado de Chihuahua/Dear Chihuahua State 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 5 May 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

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