RAN 58/11 15 November 2011
The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International is horrified by the death of yet another blogger, who was murdered and decapitated by a Mexican drugs gang for writing about their crimes. We call on the Mexican authorities to bring the guilty to justice and bring to an end the impunity that exists for those who attack and kill journalists and writers in Mexico.
In Nuevo Laredo, on 9 November 2011, the body of a blogger known as ‘Rascatripas' was found bound and decapitated. A message was left with the corpse which said: ‘This happened to me because I didn't understand that I shouldn't report on the internet.' ‘Rascatripas' was the moderator for a web site that denounced Nuevo Laredo's organized crime.
This follows the September killing of another blogger and journalist from Nuevo Laredo, María Elizabeth Macías Castro, who was found dead and decapitated on 24 September 2011. Her killers also left a note with her body. The message was similar to that left beside ‘Rascatripas', but was signed with a ‘Z', the signature of the Zetas drugs gang.
These killings form part of a worrying trend in Mexico, where the drugs gangs are increasingly targeting the internet, forcing bloggers and chat-rooms to exercise self-censorship or face being killed, or shut down.
Mexico is one of the most dangerous places in the world in which to practice journalism. PEN International recently launched its Day of the Dead 2011 campaign, highlighting the violence suffered by print journalists and writers in Mexico and protesting the climate of impunity that exists there.
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 fulfil 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 30 December 2011.
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