MEXICO: Leading journalist Cacho harassed

MAY 7, 2007
Posted May 16, 2007

Lydia Cacho Ribeiro, freelance journalist

Shortly after arriving in Mexico City, the driver of a vehicle transporting journalist and human rights activist Lydia Cacho Ribeiro lost control of the car, according to news reports and CPJ interviews. Federal agents detected that screws had been loosened on one of the wheels, those sources said. Cacho filed a complaint with the attorney general’s office.

Cacho has faced legal harassment and multiple threats in a tangled case that sparked scandal and headlines. The journalist had been the target of a 2005 criminal defamation lawsuit filed by Puebla-based clothing manufacturer José Camel Nacif Borge in connection with her book, Los Demonios del Edén (The Demons of Eden). In the book, Cacho alleged that a child prostitution ring operated in Cancún with the complicity of local police and politicians. She accused Nacif of having ties to an accused pedophile, an allegation the businessman denied.

In early January 2007, a Mexican judge dismissed defamation charges against Cacho. In early March, inspired by Cacho’s case, the Mexican Senate passed federal legislation decriminalizing defamation, libel, and slander. The measure signed into law by President Felipe Calderón on April 12.