RAN 02/12 10 January 2012
The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International is appalled by the killing of Raúl Régulo Garza Quirino, reporter for the weekly newspaper La Ultima Palabra. The journalist was gunned down on 6 January 2012 by a gang in Cadereyta, state of Nuevo León, and is the first journalist in Mexico to be murdered in 2012. The WiPC calls on the Mexican authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into Garza’s killing and to bring to an end Mexico’s climate of impunity in which attacks such as these take place.
Raúl Régulo Garza Quirino, 30, was shot to death by unidentified gunmen after a car chase near his home in Cadereyta, Nuevo León. Garza, who also worked for the local government’s department of social development, had been driving his car on the evening of 6 January 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 sixteen shots were fired during the attack.
So far, no clear motive for the attack has been identified. However, Cadereyta is a hotbed of violent crime; it is a stronghold of Los Zetas, a violent drug cartel implicated in the murders of other journalists. In recent months, scores of individuals in the state have gone missing.
Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to practise journalism. In the last five years, 37 print journalists, writers and bloggers have been murdered in connection with their work, and eight have disappeared; most of the dead were involved in reporting on corruption and organized crime. The vast majority of these killings have never been properly investigated; most of the perpetrators remain unpunished.
In November 2011, PEN launched its Day of the Dead campaign which drew attention to the dangerous, often lethal environment in which Mexican journalists work. For more information on this campaign please see Day of the Dead 2011.
Please send appeals:
Calling on the Mexican authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into the latest murder;
Calling for an end to Mexico’s climate of impunity in which attacks such as these take place;
Calling on the government of President Felipe Calderón to fulfill promises to make crimes against journalists a federal offence, by amending the Constitution so that federal authorities have the power to investigate, prosecute and punish such crimes.
Lic. Felipe De Jesús Calderón Hinojosa
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
Salutation: Señor Presidente/ Dear Mr President
Lic. Marisela Morales Ibáñez
Procuradora General de la República
Av. Paseo de Reforma No. 211-213, Piso 16
Col. Cuauhtémoc, Defegacion 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”)
Salutation: Señora Procuradora General/Dear Attorney General
Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Freedom of Expression
Dr Gustavo Salas Chávez
Fiscal Especial para la Atención de Delitos Cometidos contra la Libertad de Expresión (FEADLE)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Please also send copies of your appeals to the Mexican Embassy in your country.
***Please send appeals immediately. Check with International PEN if sending appeals after 31st January 2012.***
For further details please contact Cathal Sheerin 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: firstname.lastname@example.org