On June 7, we wrote to Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa about a series of attacks perpetrated against local journalists by federal law enforcement since the beginning of the year. The office of the Mexican president responded on June 16.
to CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon, Calderón informed us that our letter was submitted to the attorney general’s office and the Mexican Ministry of Interior so the issue can be addressed as “soon as possible.”
CPJ has documented an increasing number of assaults committed by federal forces since the Calderón administration deployed thousands of troops and federal police to combat organized crime in December 2006. Today, CPJ issued an alert on the slaying of two journalists in the war-ravaged state of Guerrero. Since Calderón took office more than 30 journalists have been killed and disappeared, and widespread self-censorship is preventing scores of reporters and media from reporting on crime issues.
CPJ has long been advocating for federal intervention in Mexico to address a problem that is inhibiting citizens, including journalists, from exercising their right to freedom of expression.
Juan Manuel Llera Blanco, the president’s staff member who signed the letter, said that, according to Article 8 of the Mexican Constitution, the Ministry of Interior should provide a “timely” response to CPJ’s concerns.
While we welcome the prompt response from the Mexican president and his willingness to address alleged abuses committed by federal forces, we believe that the time has come for his administration to put the free expression crisis as one of the top priorities of his national agenda. The magnitude of the crisis requires a strong and immediate federal solution.