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Day of the Dead

Friday 1 November 2013 - 12:19pm

Hay demasiados vacíos…pero nada más vacío que los corazones de quienes te extrañamos

There are too many empty spaces…but none as empty as the hearts of those who miss you

- Rolando Nájera from ‘Hay demasiados vacíos’

November 2 marks the Day of the Dead , when the families and friends of the departed in Latin America and beyond commemorate the lives of their loved ones. PEN International has long campaigned for freedom of expression and safety and security of journalists in Mexico but journalists and writers in the region continue to be murdered at an alarming rate, while the perpetrators are all too rarely brought to justice.

In Mexico, at least 49 print and internet journalists and writers have been killed since December 2006 and at least nine others have disappeared in the same period. In Honduras, at least 28 journalists have been murdered since the June 2009 coup d’état, while in Brazil at least 11 print and internet journalists have been slain since 2010. Impunity for these deaths is the norm.

On Day of the Dead 2011, PEN highlighted the situation in Mexico, and in 2012 we widened our focus to include Honduras and Brazil, in a literary protest resulting in the bilingual anthology Write Against Impunity, which includes work by some of Latin America’s best known authors.

On Day of the Dead 2013 we ask our Centres around the world to commemorate the lives of our fallen colleagues in Mexico, Honduras and Brazil using PEN’s recently passed resolution on violence against journalists and impunity in Latin America and the Write Against Impunity anthology. To read a summary of our Centres' activities, click here.

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:

For full details of this years call to action click here.