Veracruz Journalists Condemn Murder of Colleague Anabel Flores Salazar
The body of journalist Anabel Flores Salazar, was found on 8 February 2016 in the state of Puebla, adjacent to Flores’ home state of Veracruz. She had been abducted from her home on Monday by armed men. In the days following her murder, her fellow journalists wrote an open letter to the Mexican government to condemn her killing and demand action. PEN American Center has translated this letter to help amplify their message and highlight the need for Mexican authorities to take immediate action to protect all journalists and investigate Flores Salazar’s murder and those of the many journalists in Mexico who have been violently killed. The original Spanish version is available here.
An Open Letter to the Government of México from Journalists Concerning the Death of Journalist Anabel Flores Salazar
To the Federal Government
To the State Government of Veracruz
To the State Government of Puebla
To the Chamber of Senators
To the Chamber of Deputies
To the Legislature of Veracruz
To the Legislature of Puebla
The undersigned reporters and communicators from the state of Veracruz and the central region wish to make clear our forceful condemnation of the death of journalist Anabel Flores Salazar, who was abducted from her home on February 8 in Mariano Escobedo, Veracruz and found dead with signs of torture in the state of Puebla, a few kilometers away from where she was kidnapped.
We want to present our unanswered questions to you, our representatives and those whose livelihoods are supported by us, the citizens:
1. How can someone enter a house without the security authorities detecting it?
2. How can someone run around the city with a kidnapped person, with armed and uniformed men that look like the police?
3. How can someone circumvent all the security measures of the Armed Forces?
4. How can someone enter another state while evading the security forces of both states?
5. How could there have been an assassination and abandonment of a body in Puebla without the authorities of Puebla, who claimed they helped with the search, ever finding out?
6. How can organized crime groups co-govern both states, disposing bodies from one side to another?
7. How many more reporters will die in both states while defending freedom of expression?
8. We believe the government of Veracruz is permeated by organized crime. Before this we doubted that Puebla was also contaminated, but now we see that it is.
9. It is right to share responsibility. If every one of you leaders are getting paid to provide for our lives, you are doing it very poorly, and are capable of very little. We don’t understand why you continue to get paid for performing your public functions so poorly. Why don’t you resign?
10. We demand that you end this lack of transparency and really get back to work. Stop ignoring it and stop this massacre against citizens, journalists, children and adolescents and women. We want to be in peace, live in a healthy environment, if that is not too much to ask for.
11. We demand that you stop criminalizing assassinated journalists and stop violating freedom of expression in Veracruz.
Criminalizing our assassinated colleagues is a strategy of true cowardice by those who are obligated to investigate and not fabricate evidence against those who cannot refute the defamations of this horrible government.
We demand that you stop the senseless massacre that this misgovernment has executed against journalism in Veracruz. Stop this nightmare that you are provoking in all of Veracruz.
You don’t want us to write about tragedies? Stop provoking tragedies.
You don’t want to read about violent acts? Then stop creating the conditions where violent acts happen.
The press is a mirror of the real world. We do not make anything up, we only write it down.
H. CÓRDOBA, FEBRUARY 9, 2016