Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Mexico25 October 2005

Municipal police officers told to get rid of newspaper editor

Reporters Without Borders today condemned death threats allegedly made by the muncipal police chief of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, in the southern state of Chiapas, against Concepción Villafuerte, the editor of the local daily La Foja Coleta, and it urged the state authorities to take action.

“We call on Chiapas governor Pablo Salazar to react quickly to protect Villafuerte and we hope he will make this gesture in support of press freedom now after getting ‘gag laws’ passed last year increasing censorship and penalties for defamation in his state,” the organisation said.

In press release circulated anonymously in Tuxtla Gutiérrez on 17 October, local police officers alleged that they were the victims of abuse of authority, corruption and embezzlement by their superiors, above all muncipal police chief Mariano Rosales Zuarth.

The release also alleged that, while inebriated, Rosales ordered Superintendent Deonicio Elevit Nolaesco to get rid of Villafuerte if she continued to write in La Foja Coleta or any other newspaper, telling him to run her over with a car to make it look like an accident. Mention was also made of threats being made against Enoc Gordillo, a journalists who contributes to various news media in the nearby city of San Cristóbal de las Casas.

La Foja Coleta, which is known for exposing alleged irregularities by regional officials, has in recent days been covering the problems of police officers, including extortion within the force, low wages and lack of uniforms, and it ran an open letter on 20 October reproducing the main points of the anonymous release.

Rosales reportedly reacted by filing a complaint against the journalists and police officers responsible for the allegations. The authorities however have said they are unaware of this complaint.

Meanwhile, two representatives of the Chiapas state prosecutor’s office went to Villafuerte’s home to inform her that Rosales is the subject of an investigation.

Villafuerte’s home was already the target of a shooting attack on 22 April 2003. Nine 9 mm bullets were found at the scene afterwards.



In this country
27 May - Mexico
Crime reporter abducted and killed in Durango state
5 May - Mexico
Journalist at odds with local officials gunned down in Durango state
6 March - Mexico
Suspect arrested in photographer’s murder but motive vague
25 February - Mexico
Young radio reporter gunned down in Veracruz state for unclear reasons
22 January - Mexico
Self-censorship, exile or certain death : the choice faced by journalists in Ciudad Juárez

in the annual report
Mexico - Annual Report 2008
Mexico - Annual report 2007
Mexico - Annual report 2006


reports
14 March 2008 - Cuba
No surrender by independent journalists, five years on from “black spring”
5 June 2007 - Venezuela
Closure of Radio Caracas Televisión consolidates media hegemony
22 May 2007 - Colombia
Paramilitary "black eagles" poised to swoop down on press
archives

Americas press releases
3 June - United States
President Obama urged to raise freedom of expression in his Cairo speech
29 May - Venezuela
Open letter to President Hugo Chavez to protest about official hounding of Globovisión
20 May - Cuba
Anyone can browse the Internet... unless they are Cuban
15 May - Cuba
Journalist gets three-year jail sentence
15 May - Colombia
Former intelligence officials leak list of news media and journalists whose phones were tapped

Americas archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Sign the petitions
Cuba
Miguel Galván Gutiérrez
Cuba
Fabio Prieto Llorente
United States
Chauncey Bailey
A petition to Raúl Castro