Wednesday, March 25, 2009

No Progress for Mexican Journalists

SOURCE: National Center for Social Communication (CENCOS), Mexico City (CENCOS/IFEX) - The following is an abridged translation of a 19 March 2009 CENCOS press release: Murder of Roberto Mora, "El Mañana" editorial director, remains unpunished five years after his death

México D.F., 19 March 2009 - Five years after the assassination of Roberto Javier Mora García, editorial director of the Nuevo Laredo-based newspaper "El Mañana", the case has not been solved.

On 19 March 2004, Mora García was stabbed 26 times near his home in the Jardín neighbourhood, in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, northeastern Mexico.

In 2004, a group of national and international independent organisations of journalists and human rights defenders formed the In Memoriam Commission. The commission found that the investigation was marked by irregularities, such as anomalies in experts' testimony, the disappearance of evidence, and the mismanagement of testimonies. For example, the Tamaulipas State Attorney General's Office (Procuraduría de la Justicia) provided a description of the weapon that reportedly does not match the one used to commit the crime.

Two of the journalist's neighbours, Mario Medina and Hiram Oliveros, were arrested in connection with the crime. The National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, CNDH) found that Medina was beaten.

Both of the accused said they were tortured while in detention and denied that they knew Mora García, who had only moved into their building one month before his murder. Medina was accused of being the assassin and was himself killed while in prison, some weeks after his arrest.

Mora García was editor of the Monterrey-based newspaper "El Norte" and editorial director of "El Diario", also based in Monterrey and now known as "Milenio". In 2000 he began working for "El Mañana" in Nuevo Laredo. He also edited the "Biznews" magazine.

The lack of action in this case is indicative of the impunity that is characteristic of assassinations of journalists in Mexico.

Updates the Mora García case:

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