World Association of News Publishers

Protest Campaign - Mexico, 27 September 2011

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Protest Campaign - Mexico, 27 September 2011

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His Excellency Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa
President of Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico


27 September 2011


Your Excellency,

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our grave concern at the murder of newspaper editor María Elizabeth Macías.

According to reports, the decapitated body of Ms Macías, an editor at Primera Hora newspaper, was found in the city of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas state, on 24 September. A message left next to the body accused Ms Macías of denouncing drug violence on local social networks and websites where citizens leave messages informing the security forces about the activities of local drug gangs.

The murder of Ms Macías followed the discovery of two bodies hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo on 13 September. A letter was found with the bodies warning local people not to report crimes on social networks and was signed with the letter "Z", which is usually associated with the Zetas cartel. Tamaulipas has been at the centre of a violent turf war between the Zetas and Gulf drug gangs, and beheadings are reportedly often used to intimidate rivals and informants.

We are appalled that Ms Macías was murdered for using social media and that a climate of impunity protects those who kill and threaten people for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Since the beginning of your administration on 1 December 2006, at least 30 journalists have been murdered and many more have disappeared. In very few cases have the perpetrators been brought to justice.

We respectfully remind you that it is the duty of the state to provide an environment in which citizens are able to exercise their right to freedom of expression without fear of violence. The threat of violence has created a climate of fear that promotes self-censorship.

We believe it is important that our organisations express their solidarity with Primera Hora and the Mexican media community. We call on you to do everything possible to ensure that those who murdered Ms Macías are quickly brought to justice and that the climate of impunity is ended. We ask you to take all steps necessary to end attacks on journalists and other citizens who wish to exercise their right to freedom of expression.


We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,


Jacob Mathew
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


Erik Bjerager
World Editors Forum


WAN-IFRA is the global organization for the world’s newspapers and news publishers, with formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The organization groups 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.



Mrs Maricela Morales Ibáñez, Attorney General
Mr Egidio Torre Cantú, Governor of Tamaulipas
Mr Gustavo Salas Chávez, Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Journalists and Freedom of Expression
Mr Carlos de Icaza, Ambassador of Mexico to France
Ms Catalina Botero, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American States


Rodrigo Bonilla's picture

Rodrigo Bonilla


2011-09-27 15:19

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In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...