Crime Reporter Kidnapped and Murdered in Veracruz State
PEN International is appalled by the news that another journalist has been murdered in Veracruz State, Mexico. Víctor Manuel Báez Chino, a crime reporter for the daily newspaper Milenio El Portal de Veracruz and editor of the web site Reporteros Policiacos, was found dead in a street in the state capital Xalapa during the early hours of June 14, 2012. PEN calls for a thorough investigation into his death, and for those responsible to be brought to justice.
Báez Chino was kidnapped by a group of armed men as he was leaving his office late at night on June 13. The men forced him into a grey van and drove away. Báez Chino’s body was later found dumped in a street near the offices of the newspapers Oye Veracruz, Gráfico de Xalapa, and Diario de Xalapa. Báez Chino’s murder followed a pattern often seen in attacks on journalists in Mexico.
Local and federal authorities have said they believe Báez Chino to be a victim of organized crime.
Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to be a writer or journalist. Since 2000, over 80 writers, journalists, and bloggers have been murdered and another 15 have disappeared. Most of these crimes have not been properly investigated and there have been only a handful of convictions.
The rate at which journalists are being killed has accelerated rapidly; since January 2012, eight print journalists and writers have been murdered in Mexico.
These include: investigative reporter Regina Martínez; journalist Marco Antonio Ávila García; poet and translator Guillermo Fernández García; journalist Raúl Régulo Garza Quirino; and ex-reporter René Orta Salgado.
On June 8, Stephanía Cardoso, a journalist for the Coahuila-based newspaper Zócalo Saltillo, disappeared with her two-year-old son.
On June 12, 2012, PEN International wrote an open letter to all journalists covering the G20 Summit in Mexico on June 18 and 19, asking that they raise the issue of the attacks on journalists and writers, and the impunity enjoyed by those who commit these crimes.
Write A Letter
- Calling for a full and impartial investigation into the death of journalist Víctor Manuel Báez Chino;
- Urging the Attorney General of the Republic to take up the case;
- Urging the Mexican authorities to do more to tackle the widespread local state corruption that slows and often prevents proper, objective investigations into the murders of writers and journalists.
Send Your Letter To
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
Salutation: Señor Presidente/Dear Mr President
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
Tel: + 52 55 5346 0108
Fax: + 52 55 53 46 0908 (if a voice answers, ask "tono de fax, por favor")
Salutation: Señora Procuradora General/Dear Attorney General
State Attorney General
Lic. Felipe Amadeo Flores Espinosa
Procurador General de Justicia
Cto. Rafael Guizar y Valencia No. 707
Col. Reserva Territorial, C.P. 91096
Xalapa, Veracruz, México
Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Freedom of Expression
Lic. Laura Angelina Borbolla
Fiscal Especial para la Atención de Delitos Cometidos contra Periodistas (FEADP)
Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Mexico in your country if possible.
Please send appeals immediately. Contact PEN if sending appeals after August 15, 2012: ftw [at] pen.org