Home Page > News Item > PEN PROTESTA! Leading authors Call for Justice for Murdered Colleagues in Mexico

27 January 2012. PEN International today published a full-page ad in El Universal signed by 170 of the world’s leading writers declaring solidarity with Mexican writers and journalists. This is part of the PEN Protesta! international PEN delegation to Mexico which comprises events and high-level lobbying of the Mexican authorities.

Signatories of the ad demanding prosecutions of those responsible for murdering journalists include Nobel Prize laureates J.M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, Toni Morrison, Orhan Pamuk, Wole Soyinka, Mario Vargas Llosa and Derek Walcott along with Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Jonathan Franzen, Claribel Alegría, Bei Dao, Victor Erofeyev, Ariel Dorfman, A.B. Yehoshua, Hanif Kureishi, Leonard Cohen and scores of other international literary luminaries. View the ad in English and Spanish, and the full list of signatories. Add your name to the letter here.

On 29 January at 12:00pm at Casa Lamm, Alvaro Obregon No 99, Colonia Roma, Mexico D.F. PEN International and the PEN Club de México will present PEN Protesta! In Support of Journalists and Freedom of Expression, a public demonstration of solidarity and a demand for accountability for the murders and disappearances of journalists in Mexico. John Ralston Saul, Russell Banks, Gillian Slovo, Takeaki Hori and six other members of a delegation representing PEN’s global membership will stand side-by-side with Elena Poniatowska, Javier Sicilia, Jennifer Clement, and dozens of Mexican writers and journalists and declare their support for a free press and freedom of expression in Mexico. The event in Mexico City represents an unprecedented show of support from the international literary community in recognition of the courage and endurance of their Mexican colleagues.

The PEN International Delegation will hold a press conference on 30 January at 12:00pm at Mexico City Press Club, Filomeno Mata 8, Col. Centro, Mexico City. Fore more information contact Alicia Quiñones, penpress.mex@gmail.com; +52 55 42322179, +52 55 15803002

Background

Between 2000 and 2011, criminal organizations have murdered more than 67 journalists in Mexico. In recent months, these groups have killed 15 journalists, “disappeared” three, and attacked the facilities of 19 newspapers and media outlets with firearms and explosives, according to statistics released by the organization Article 19 in October 2011. As an international literary organization dedicated to the protection of writers and the defense of freedom of expression, PEN has condemned these killings and called for an end to impunity for those who carry out attacks on media workers in Mexico. At “PEN Protesta,” delegates representing PEN’s distinguished global membership of writers lend their voices to the growing national chorus demanding effective protections for members of the Mexican press. This event is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship of the Knight Foundation.

For more information and to request interviews please contact
(Mexico) Alicia Quiñones penpress.mex@gmail.com +52 55 42322179, +52 55 15803002 or
Alain Pescador alainpesc@gmail.com ; +52 55 13 826 673

(London)
Emilia Griffin press@pen-international.org +44 (0) 20 7405 0338
Ruth Simister penoffice@pen-international.org +44 (0) 20 7405 0338
Laura McVeigh: laura.mcveigh@pen-international.org +44 (0) 780 24640527