Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Mexico10 May 2007

Leading journalist’s car sabotaged four days after gruesome ‘narco-message’

Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about gruesome threatening messages aimed at journalists and the fact that one of the latest messages, which are being blamed on drug traffickers, was followed four days later by an apparent attempt to kill a leading investigative journalist by sabotaging her car.

On 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, the head of a corpse was left on a street in the eastern city of Veracruz along with the message: “Here is a gift for journalists, and other heads will fall, as Milo Vela well knows.” Vela is a columnist who writes for the Veracruz-based daily Notiver. Someone appears to have acted on the threats when freelance journalist and human rights activist Lydia Cacho Ribeiro’s car was sabotaged in Mexico City on 7 May.

“These so-called ‘narco-messages’ to the press are extremely disturbing,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We call on the authorities to immediately ensure that both Lydia Cacho and Milo Vela are properly protected.”

Cacho’s car was sabotaged although she was being escorted by three policemen because of the death threats she regularly receives. As she and her police bodyguards drove away from Mexico City’s airport after her arrival there on 7 May, the driver lost control and nearly crashed. Her bodyguards discovered that the nuts had been loosened on one of the wheels.

“If the driver had not braked in time, the wheel would have come off and the car would have turned over,” Cacho said. “At first time I did not think it was very important, but then the policemen showed me the nuts... I have been advised to file a complaint at once because everything indicates it was a murder attempt.”

Mexico continues to be the western hemisphere’s deadliest country for the press, with two journalists murdered since the start of the year and one missing.



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