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MEXICO - Crime reporter kidnapped and murdered in Veracruz State

Friday 15 June 2012 - 1:00am

RAN 30/12 16 June 2012

The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of 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 website was found dead in a street in Xalapa, the state capital, during the early hours of 14 June 2012. The WiPC 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 13 June. The men forced him into a grey van and drove away. Báez Chino’s body was later found dumped in a street near where the offices of the newspapers Oye Veracruz, Gráfico de Xalapa and Diario de Xalapa are located. 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 8 June, a journalist for the Coahuila-based newspaper Zócalo Saltillo, Stephanía Cardoso, disappeared with her two-year-old son.

On 12 June 2012, PEN International wrote an open letter to all journalists covering the G20 Summit in Mexico on 18-19 June. We asked them – in the course of their coverage of the event – to raise the issue of the attacks on journalists and writers, and the impunity enjoyed by those who commit these crimes.

Please send appeals:

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;
Appeals 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

Attorney General of the Republic
Lic. Marisela Morelos 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 also send copies of your appeals to the Mexican Embassy in your country.

***Please send appeals immediately. Check with International PEN if sending appeals after 15 August 2012.***

For further details please contact Cathal Sheerin at the Writers in Prison Committee London Office: PEN International, Brownlow House, 50-51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER Tel: +44 (0) 207 405 0338 Fax +44 (0) 207 405 0339 email: