Poet and Translator Guillermo Fernández García Murdered in Toluca
PEN International is appalled by the killing on March 31, 2012, of the Mexican poet and translator Guillermo Fernández García. The 79-year-old writer was found dead at his home in Toluca, Mexico State. His murderers had bound his feet and hands before killing him with a blow to the head. PEN calls on the Mexican authorities to fully investigate Fernandez’s murder and bring those responsible to justice.
Guillermo Fernández García 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 regarded as one of Mexico’s finest translators of Italian literature and had translated works by Italo Calvino, Antonio Tabucchi, Cesare Pavese, and Guiseppe Tomasi de Lampedusa.
On March 31, 2012, neighbours entered Fernández’s home and found the poet dead. He had been killed by a blow to the head from a heavy object. Nothing had been stolen. The motive for the murder is unknown.
Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to be a writer. In the last five years, 38 print journalists, writers, and bloggers have been murdered in connection with their work, and eight have disappeared; most of the dead were involved in reporting on corruption and organized crime. The vast majority of these killings have never been properly investigated and most of the perpetrators remain unpunished.
These crimes go unpunished largely because the Mexican authorities, especially at the state level, are notoriously susceptible to corruption. In March, the Mexican senate approved an amendment to the law that would make all crimes against journalists, writers, and bloggers federal crimes, thereby protecting investigations from local corrupting influences. However, the amendment must be passed by the individual states before it becomes law.
In January 2012, PEN International sent a delegation to Mexico to draw international attention to the climate of impunity that exists there for those who murder writers.
- "Matan en Toluca al poeta Guillermo Fernández" from El Universo
- Vendrá la muerte" by Juan Villoro
- La palabra a solas by Guillermo Fernández García
Write A Letter
- Protesting the murder of Guillermo Fernández García on March 31, 2012;
- Calling for a full and impartial investigation into the murder;
- Calling for an end to Mexico’s climate of impunity in which crimes such as these take place.
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
Email: [email protected]
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")
E-mail: [email protected]
Salutation: Señora Procuradora General/Dear Attorney General
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
E-mail: [email protected]
Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Mexico in your country if possible.
Please send appeals immediately. Contact PEN if sending appeals after June 10, 2012: ftw [at] pen.org