Freedom of Expression

Press Release R65/12






Washington, D.C., June 13, 2012 - The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expresses its concern over the disappearance of Mexican journalist Hypatia Stephania Rodríguez Cardoso and her 2-year-old son, which apparently happened in Saltillo, Coahuila, in the early hours of Friday, June 8th.


The Office of the Special Rapporteur asks the State to undertake all the necessary actions to find the reporter and her son alive, and to ensure the investigation looks into the possibility that the disappearance is connected to the reporter’s professional activities.


According to the information that has been received, the reporter works for Zócalo, a newspaper of Saltillo, and usually covers news stories on police-related affairs.


On the night of June 7, the journalist went to a social gathering of journalists taking her son along. Once the gathering was over, in the early hours of June 8, she went back to her house and called some colleagues minutes later to say that she had arrived home safely. However, the next day she was discovered missing and her house showed signs of having been searched. Her camera was found destroyed and her car was not found.


Her disappearance was reported to the police on the morning of Saturday, June 9th, at the state’s Office of the Prosecutor General, but the investigation has apparently been transferred to the national Office of the Prosecutor General. The Office of the Special Rapporteur acknowledges the intervention of the federal authorities to try to resolve the case and urges all competent authorities to maintain and increase the measures adopted up to now to find the journalist and her son unharmed.


Principle 9 of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression of the IACHR 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.