DECEMBER 20, 2005
Posted: January 16, 2006

Claudia Padilla Pacheco, Correo


Padilla, a journalist for Correo in the city of Celaya, was threatened and harassed after reporting on police corruption in the central state of Guanajuato.

On December 13, she wrote an investigative story about a private security firm that employed former police officers who were being investigated on charges of torture, abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The security firm is run by a former state police chief. The next morning, she received an anonymous call on her mobile phone inquiring if she had been paid to attack the local police, Padilla told CPJ.

A week after the story broke, Padilla published a second article about an ongoing investigation on a criminal gang allegedly involved in car theft, murder cover-up and protection of drug traffickers. The Guanajuato prosecutor’s office is investigating police involvement in the ring, Correo reported.

That night, intruders vandalized her neighbor’s house. Later, Padilla’s mother received a telephone call warning her daughter that they had broken into the wrong apartment but they now knew where the reporter lived.

Padilla told CPJ that she had received threats before but had not paid them any attention. She said this time she took the threat seriously because her family had been brought into it. The reporter filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office.