OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR CONDEMNS MURDER
OF CRIME REPORTER IN
According to the information received, at least three armed men with their faces covered kidnapped the media worker on the afternoon of Thursday, May 17, while he was at a carwash in Ciudad Obregón, state of
The murder of Marcos Avila adds to at least another five crimes against media workers committed in
The Office of the Special Rapporteur has been informed of the measures taken by the Mexican authorities to investigate the crimes against journalists. In the case of Marcos Ávila, the National Human Rights Commission started an investigation ex officio and ordered that the victim's family and his supervisors be interviewed, and that the authorities' investigation be supported in every way. Regarding the homicide of the photographers, actions taken reportedly include the possible collaboration of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic (PGR, in its Spanish acronym) and the designation of a special investigative commission led by the Office of the Special Prosecutor on Crimes Committed against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE in its Spanish acronym). Similarly, with respect to the murder of Regina Martinez, the government of
The attacks against the press in
Accordingly, it must be a priority to effectively and urgently apply the recently approved Law for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, strengthen the FEADLE, and get the states' legislatures to approve the constitutional reform that would enable the federal authorities to investigate and try crimes against the right to freedom of expression. While the ongoing federalization process takes place, activating the existing mechanisms for the federal authorities to conduct the investigation of the murders committed is necessary.
Principle 9 of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression states: "The murder, kidnapping, intimidation of and/or threats to social communicators, as well as the material destruction of communications media violate the fundamental rights of individuals and strongly restrict freedom of expression. It is the duty of the state to prevent and investigate such occurrences, to punish their perpetrators and to ensure that victims receive due compensation."
The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression was created by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to encourage the defense of the right to freedom of thought and expression in the hemisphere, given the fundamental role this right plays in consolidating and developing the democratic system.
For more information on the Office of the Special Rapporteur, please visit: http://www.cidh.oas.org/relatoria/index.asp?lID=1