The Committee to Protect Journalists offers the following recommendations:
To President Enrique Peña Nieto
- Publicly commit to addressing impunity in crimes against freedom of expression, pledge to resolve these crimes, and put the safety and protection of journalists as a priority in your government’s agenda during your remaining time in office.
- Use the full power of your office to ensure that all citizens, including members of the press, can exercise their right to freedom of expression as guaranteed in Articles 6 and 7 of the Constitution.
- Ensure that federal law enforcement officials take responsibility for all attacks against the press that fall within their jurisdiction and direct federal officials to investigate these cases thoroughly and prosecute perpetrators to the full extent of the law.
- Use your influence to ensure that the office of the Federal Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) has sufficient authority and resources to apply the law effectively.
- Ensure that the protection mechanism provides effective aid to at-risk journalists and enhances prevention to avoid deadly attacks.
To the Attorney General
- Hold the office of the Federal Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) accountable for any failure to investigate these crimes and prosecute those responsible.
- Ensure that federal law enforcement officials assume responsibility for all attacks against the press that fall within their current jurisdiction under the law. Direct federal law enforcement officials to investigate these cases thoroughly and prosecute the perpetrators to the full extent of the law.
- Use the full resources of your office to obtain successful prosecutions in the cases of José Moisés Sánchez Cerezo, Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz, Marcos Hernández Bautista, and other murdered journalists where suspects have been identified and progress has been made in the investigations.
- Provide training to prosecutors assigned to crimes against freedom of expression. Ensure that this training addresses the unique problems facing journalists and highlights the vital role a free press plays.
- Cooperate fully with state attorneys general in current investigations of attacks against the press. Demand that state authorities cooperate and communicate fully with your office.
- Ensure that the masterminds who order the murder of journalists are pursued and convicted in addition to those who carry out the killings.
To the Veracruz state authorities
- Require state prosecutors to cooperate fully with the federal attorney general’s office in current investigations of attacks against the press.
- Ensure that police fully investigate threats against journalists and media outlets and that the state human rights office has the resources necessary to conduct timely, on-the-ground investigations.
- Ensure that investigations into journalists’ murders are opened immediately and that requests for any video footage is made to C4, the law enforcement agency that manages the statewide surveillance network, within the three-day time limit.
- Take witness testimony immediately, including sketches, request video footage and other materials in a timely matter, conduct searches of suspects in a timely manner, and thoroughly investigate allegations of intimidation.
To the Organization of American States
- Hold the Mexican federal government accountable under Principle 9 of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Principle 9 states that “the murder, kidnapping, intimidation of and/or threats against social communicators, as well as the material destruction of communications media, violate the fundamental rights of individuals and strongly restrict freedom of expression.”
- Set specific goals to ensure Mexico’s compliance with recommendations issued by the office of the special rapporteur for freedom of expression. The special rapporteur has urged Mexico to fully, effectively, and impartially investigate these crimes, clarify their motives, and determine the relationship with journalism and freedom of expression.