April 10, 2012

Lic. Felipe De Jesús Calderón Hinojosa
Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Oficial de los Pinos Casa Miguel Alemán
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850, DISTRITO FEDERAL, México
Fax: (+ 52 55) 5093 4901/ 5277 2376
Attorney General

Lic. Marisela Morales Ibáñez
Procuradora General de la República
Av. Paseo de Reforma No. 211-213, Piso 16
Col. Cuauhtémoc, Defegacion Cuauhtémoc
México D.F. C.P. 06500
Fax: + 52 55 53 46 0908
Procurador General de Justicia del Estado de México
Lic. Alfredo Catillo Cervantes
Avenida Morelos Oriente 1300
Sexto Piso Central Estatal de Justicia
Colonia de San Sebastián C.P 50090
Estado de México

Your Excellencies,

On behalf of the 3,000 members of PEN American Center, an international organization of writers dedicated to protecting freedom of expression wherever it is threatened, we are writing to express our alarm regarding the murder of poet and translator Guillermo Fernández García.

According to our information, on March 31, 2012, Guillermo Fernández García was found dead in his apartment by his neighbors. His hands and feet were bound, and he had been killed by a blow to the head with a heavy object. Nothing was reported to be stolen, and the motive for the murder is currently unknown.

Fernández (79) was a noted poet and had published 12 volumes of poetry, including Visitaciones (1964), La palabra a solas (1965), La hora y el sitio (1973), El reino de los ojos (1983), and Imágenes para una piedad (1991). He was also a translator of Italian literature, and had translated works by Italo Calvino, Antonio Tabucchi, Cesare Pavese, and Guiseppe Tomasi de Lampedusa.
Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to work as a journalist. In the last five years, 38 print journalists, writers, and bloggers have been murdered in Mexico, and eight have disappeared. Most of the deaths are connected to the writers’ reporting on corruption and organized crime, and the majority of them have never been properly investigated.

PEN American Center is incredibly alarmed by the murder of Guillermo Fernández García following the passage of an amendment before the Senate in March that would make crimes against journalists, writers, and bloggers a federal offense. We therefore call for a full and impartial investigation into Fernández’s murder and an end to the climate of impunity in which these crimes take place. 

Thank you for your attention to this crucial matter.

Hannah Pakula
Chair, Freedom to Write Committee

Larry Siems
Director, Freedom to Write and International Programs

CC: Ambassador Arturo Sarukhán
Mexican Ambassador to the United States
Embassy of Mexico
1911 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20006
Fax: (202) 728-1698

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