While heading the ceremony to change the presidency of the Communication’s Council, Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto reaffirmed to the journalists “the compromise that this government has in order to create the best conditions of their profession’s freedom to practice it.”
During Peña Nieto’s six years of government, 36 journalists have been murdered:
Jaime González used to work as director and reporter of the site ojinaganoticias.com.mx. According to Univisión, Gónzalez was attacked in the intersection of Trasviña st with Retes st., in the Centro neighborhood, in the state of Chihuahua, where an armed group of people shot him 18 times at least to allegedly steal his camera the 3rd of March in 2013. His journalistic work hasn’t been discarded as the real motive of the attack.
Daniel Martínez, photographer in the Social section of the newspaper La Vanguardia in the city of Saltillo, Coahuila, was murdered in April 24th of 2013. Although there were two messages alluding directly to him as part of a criminal organization when his body was found, the newspaper asked not to criminalize to one of his employees.
Alberto López was a reporter of El Imparcial, a newspaper from Oaxaca. Lopez was in charge of the Police section of the journal, so the attorney of the state didn’t discard that his death was due to the organized crime. The journalist was found in a far spot of the state next to an employee of the town hall and it is inferred that he was killed by being blown with stones on June 17th of 2013.
Mario Ricardo Chávez, director and reporter of El Ciudadano, another journal in Ciudad Victoria, in the state of Tamaulipas, was killed on June 24th of 2013. The investigation determined that his death wasn’t due to his journalistic work and the case got closed. However, for many of his workmates and other journalists as well, the kidnapping and homicide of the reporter actually did have something to do with his work, informing about organized crime in that state.
Notisur’s Gregorio Jiménez, disappeared on February 6th of 2014 and his body was found four days later. Although Javier Duarte himself commented that Gregorio’s death was due to a payback or personal problems, for many others the real motive of his assassination was his strong criticism against the government of Veracruz published in his articles.
Nolberto Herrera, cameraman, reporter, editor and producer of Channel 9 in the city of Zacatecas. According to the state attorney’s office, the murder of Herrera could have been due to passionate reasons, however, many workmates and other journalists do not discard that the reason of the crime was because of the practicing of journalism. The reporter was found at his place on July 29th of 2014, with at least 20 wounds made by a sharp object.
Octavio Rojas, correspondent of the journal El Buen Tono and head of the press in the Town Hall of Cosolapa, in Oaxaca. Due to the fact that the area is a transit zone for immigrants that once was controlled by the criminal group called Los Zetas, most of his news used to be police notes. The journalist was assassinated on August 11th of 2014 when he left home to meet a person who was asking for him. He got 4 shots.
Atilano Román, broadcaster of the radio show Así es mi tierra (My land is like this) and head of the movement of “comuneros” of the Picachos dam, in Sinaloa (a group of people that own a determined land is called comuneros). When Román was broadcasting his show from his radio cabin on October 11th of 2014, two armed men got into the place and shot him in the face. When the shots were heard the signal got interrupted.
María del Rosario Fuentes used to collaborate as anonymous on the Facebook pages Valor por Tamaulipas and Responsabilidad por Tamaulipas. Fuentes was a doctor and using the nickname @Miut3 she used to denounce publicly the problems of violence of that state. According to the site Nuestra Aparente Rendición, “María didn’t use to publish on real time the risky situations but she did make delations of key names about the activities of the organized crime and their connections with the army.” The journalist was kidnapped and murdered without having any clues of the responsible of her death in 2014.
Antonio Gamboa, reporter and director of the magazine Nueva Prensa, disappeared on October 10th of 2014 while his friends, relatives and collaborators could get any answer about his disappearing. 12 days after he got missed, Gamboa’s body was found in the Villa de Ahome’s trade union with shooting marks in all of his body and torture signs as well, he was handcuffed.
Sánchez wasn’t linked with the practice of journalism because he was a taxi driver and not a journalist. Sánchez was the director of the weekly journal La Unión, in which he used to make a critical journalism. However, even the General Attorney of the Republic pointed out that the prosecutor who takes care of the crimes against journalists couldn’t take the case, due to the fact that Sánchez used to practice such informative work sporadically.
Abel Manuel Bautista, owner of the broadcasting station Spacio 96.1 of Santiago Juxtlahuaca, in Oaxaca, never had a job related to journalism until he bought the station. Since then he used to play music and spread sensitive information to the communities around the municipality. According to the state’s prosecutor, the journalist was shot when he was coming out of his workplace in his car on April 14th of 2015.
Armando Saldaña, from Exa FM, was found dead in a municipality of the border between Veracruz and Oaxaca on May 4th of 2015. Although some weeks after his death, a man was arrested due to his alleged responsibility in this crime, but the case is still unsolved.
Gerardo Nieto was director of the weekly journal El Tábano and reporter of the newspaper El Nuevo Siglo. According to the former General Attorney of the state of Guanajuato, Nieto’s death wasn’t connected at all with the practicing of his profession. Artículo 19 (an organization that supports and protects the human rights of journalists) insisted on considering Nieto’s journalistic activity as the main aggravating of the crime. The journalist was killed in the location called Comonfort, where he was found with a deep wound in the throat made by a sharp object the 26th of June of 2015.
Juan Mendoza of Escribiendo la Verdad. According to Animal Político, the General Prosecutor of Veracruz concluded that his death occurred due to a car accident the 30th of June of 2015.
However, Artículo 19 found in the journalist’s body signs of violence. Mendoza, as well as Moisés Sánchez, used to work as a taxi driver in his town, which he combined with the practicing of journalism.
Filadelfo Sánchez, broadcaster and director of the radio station La Favorita in Miahuatlán, Oaxaca. According to La Vanguardia, Sánchez had received threats of death several times. The journalist was shot more than five times when he was walking down the Margarita Maza de Juárez street, in San Francisco neighborhood on July 2nd of 2015.
The photojournalist Rubén Espinosa, collaborator for Proceso and Cuartoscuro, was murdered with four other people in a flat of the Narvarte neighborhood, in Mexico City the 31st of July of 2015. Espinosa was well-known for his photography work that disfavor to the then governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte. Likewise, Nadia Vera, one of the people found in the crime scene, had published months before a video in which she was accusing the government of Veracruz if something happened to her.
Juan Heriberto Santos worked for 10 years as a reporter of Televisa Veracruz in the city of Orizaba, where he used to inform about everything that was happening in the mountain chain of Zongolica, in Santana Atzacán and in Veracruz’ central mountain chain; he also used to cover the police note and politics as well. The journalist was killed by a five people commando which shot him inside of a bar in the city of Orizaba on August 13th of 2015.
A group of armed men got into the house of Anabel Flores to kidnap her, she used to publish her news in the journals El Sol de Orizaba and El Mundo de Córdoba. The journalist’s body was found the 8th of January of 2016 and her murder hasn’t been solved yet.
Marcos Hernández used to be correspondent for the journal Noticias, Voz e Imagen de Oaxaca. Plus, Hernández used to be regidor of culture in the location of Santiago Jamiltepec and also an militant of the Morena party. According to Animal Político, Marcos used to write news related to the situation of the indigenous and community radios of the region. The remains of the journalist were found in the night of January 21st of 2016 in the municipality of San Andrés Huaxpaltepec, without a clue about who killed him.
Moisés Dagdug Lutzow used to be broadcaster in the radio program De Frente Tabasco and he also used to be director of the radio transmitter XEVX La Grande de Tabasco. According to Aristegui Noticias, Dagdug Lutzow and Ángel Jiménez (the news director), denounced previously that they had received threats because of their critical stance against the state government of Tabasco, which was headed by Arturo Núñez Jiménez. The journalist was murdered by men who broke into his house during the night and stole his truck the 20th of February of 2016.
Francisco Pacheco, reporter of the local journal El Sol de Acapulco and founder of El Foro de Taxco. Pacheco used to cover the police, local politics and tourism notes in Guerrero. The journalist was murdered on a Monday, April 25th of 2016 when he was leaving his place in Taxco de Alarcón, in Guerrero, according to the media where he used to work for.
Besides working in the Town Hall of Poza Rica, Manuel Torres used to write news about security for Noticias MT. The reporter was also in charge of covering the state elections during 2016, when the party that had taken Javier Duarte to reach the state presidency, lost the governor for the first time in the history. He was shot on the head the 15th of May, a few weeks before the elections in Veracruz took place.
Elidio Ramos, reporter of the local newspaper El Sur, in Juchitán, Oaxaca. While he was covering the blockings of some roads and the burning of buses in the state by the teacher dissidence, several men (still unknown) shot the journalist at a close range on the head the 19th of June of 2016. According to Animal Político, Ivonne Flores, who was in charge of the information department of El Sur, said that Elidio and other workmates had been threaten that Saturday by a group of hooded men to not cover the violent actions.
Salvador Olmos García, collaborator of the community radio Tu-un Ñuu Savi, in the municipality of Huajuapan, Oaxaca. In accordance with Milenio, Salvador (aka Chava), took the handcuffs off and he tried to run away from the police officers who arrested him in the middle of the night. The police chased him, ran over him and threw him to a wasteland for allegedly had made a graffiti on a monument the 26th of June of 2016.
Pedro Tamayo was killed out of his place of residence in Tierra Blanca, Veracruz the 20th of July of 2016. According to his colleagues, Pedro was a referring as a source of primary information about politics and organized crime. Tamayo received measures of protection from the CEAPP (State Committee for Journalists’ Attention and Protection), which is in charge of offering attention to the aggressions and risks that the journalists face due to the practice of their profession. Such committee wasn’t able to ward off his death.
Agustín Pavia was also a collaborator in the community radio Tu-un Ñuu Savi and member of the Morena party in Huajapan de León. Pavia was getting off of his vehicle which was parked in front of his house, when some unidentified fellows shot him the 13th of September of 2016.
Aurelio Cabrera, reporter and director of the journal El Gráfico de la Sierra, newspaper of Puebla’s North mountain chain. The police of the municipality called Juan Galindo received the complaint on September 15th of 2016 that several armed men had attacked Cabrera. Although he was taken to a hospital, the journalist died due to the provoked injuries. According to the General Attorney of Puebla, the murderer was another journalist named Juan Pedro Garrido, who is still a fugitive.
Jesús Adrián Rodríguez used to work in Chihuahua’s radio station Antena Radio. In accordance with Animal Político, years ago, Rodríguez used to cover the police note in a newspaper of the state’s capital and worked for other digital media. The journalist was shot in the morning of December 10th in 2016, his body was found inside his vehicle, right outside of his house, in Chihuahua, Chihuahua.
Cecilio Pineda was director of La Voz de Tierra Caliente and collaborator of El Universal. Birto used to cover the police note in the municipality of Ciudad Altamirano, Guerrero, where he was killed in a carwash by two young people who shot him from a scooter last March 2nd this year. Although the Secretariat of Government offered Pineta to leave Ciudad Altamirano in three occasions, the journalist denied the offer despite the existing threats against him.
Ricardo Monlui Cabrera was author of the column Crisol in El Sol de Córdoba, director of El Político and he was also president of the Association of Journalists and Graphic Reporters of Córdoba and La Región. Monlui used to cover topics related to the growing of sugar cane in Veracruz. The journalist was murdered out of a restaurant in the location of Yanga, Veracruz last 19th of March.
Miroslava Breach, correspondent of La Jornada newspaper in Chihuahua. She also used to collaborate in the journal Norte Digital of Ciudad Juárez. Breach was into the several findings of clandestine graves in that state. The reporter was assassinated by some armed men while she was coming out of her house in her truck on March 23rd. Javier Corral’s government announced that the responsible people were identified, and one of them was killed by the organized crime.
Maximino Rodríguez used to work for Colectivo Pericú, a blog for citizen complaints and news about corruption which aim was to counteract the silence of the traditional media. Rodríguez used to cover the police news and he used to have a column called Es mi Opinión (it is my opinion). Although the reporter always used to repeat that his job wasn’t scary for him, he was shot outside of a store last 15th of April.
Filiberto Álvarez, host of the radio program Poemas y cantares, in the station called La Señal de Jojutla, in Tlaquitenango, Morelos. According to the local media, Álvarez, who was 65 years old, was murdered by five shots in the entrance of a watering place called El Rollo, in Tlalquiltenango, where he used to live.
Javier Valdez, correspondant of La Jornada in Culiacán, Sinaloa and founder of the state weekly Ríodoce. Valdez informed for a long time the news related to the organized crime and drug dealing in the state, home of the Sinaloa’s Cartel and one of the most important bosses of the mob in the last decades, Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán. According to La Jornada, Valdez presented by the end of the last year his book Narcoperiodismo, la prensa en medio del crimen y la denuncia (Narcojournalism, the press in the middle of the crime and the denunciation), the last book out of a list that includes works such as Huérfanos del Narco (Orphans of the Narco), Mala Yerba (Evil Plant), Miss Narco and Con una Granada en la Boca (With a Grenade in the Mouth). The journalist was killed by an armed guy who intercepted him when he was inside of his truck and he shot him 12 times the 15th of May.
Jonathan Rodríguez, reporter of the local journal El Costeño de Autlán. According to information from Milenio, Rodríguez had already been kidnapped twice at least. Rodríguez was assassinated during an attack against his mother, Sonia Córdova, commercial deputy director of El Costeño and wife of the owner of the same daily. Armed fellows shot the car where Jonathan and his mother were the same day of the attack against Javier Valdez. While Sonia Córdova is seriously injured, the 26 years old journalist passed away.
According to the organization Reporteros Sin Fronteras (Reporters without Borders) Mexico is the second country in the continent where Journalism is the most dangerous profession to practice, only behind Cuba. Mexico is followed by Honduras, Venezuela and Colombia.
Plus, in the same page Los Zetas’ cartel appears as a predator of the freedom of the press. The site indicates that “the Mexican cartels, Los Zetas in the first place, make Mexico the most dangerous country for the journalists in the continent. The number of professionals of the information that have been murdered or that have disappeared since the 2000 decade is horrifying. This climate of terror achieves its aim, the self-censorship, which has reached the local editorials. Those who don’t hold back pay it with their lives or exile.”
El Economista. http://eleconomista.com.mx/sociedad/2017/05/16/quienes-son-36-periodistas-asesinados-sexenio-enrique-pena-nieto Checked on June 16th of 2017.
El Universal. Libre periodismo, condición indispensable en sociedad democrática: Peña Nieto. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/articulo/nacion/sociedad/2017/06/15/libre-periodismo-condicion-indispensable-en-sociedad-democratica Checked on June 15th of 2017.
Reporteros sin Fronteras. Clasificación mundial 2017. http://www.rsf-es.org/grandes-citas/clasificacion-por-paises/ Checked on June 15th of 2017.
Reporteros sin Fronteras. El Cártel de los Zetas. http://www.rsf-es.org/products/el-cartel-de-los-zetas-organizacion-criminal-mexicana/ Checked on June 15th of 2017.
The number of journalists that has been killed (7) so far this year, is the same as the number of journalists killed during the most violent year of Felipe Calderón’s period, 2011. Although the six year period of Calderón duplicates the number of murdered journalists (60), reality is that in this country there are not conditions to guarantee the complete practicing of the freedom of speech, specifically Journalism. Many of the assassinations listed here haven’t been solved yet, so there isn’t either a good perception of an enforcement of justice.
Based on the exposed above, the statement made by the president Peña Nieto in yesterday’s ceremony is FALSE.