Monday, December 5, 2011

Mexico Fails to Protect Wornat and Monroy

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - Mexico City, December 3, 2011 - On November 18, ARTICLE 19 reported on threats against journalist Olga Wornat and her research assistant Edgar Monroy, as well as the reprehensible inaction of the Mexican state, particularly personnel at the Secretariat for Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Ministry of the Interior, who are responsible for coordinating the measures announced a year ago under a system that is supposedly in place to protect journalists. Effective protection and actions to stop the threats have been virtually nonexistent in this case.

The e-mailed death threats have continued, such that the targeted individuals are planning to add information on the new developments to a complaint submitted to the Mexican authorities, and ARTICLE 19 will submit a formal complaint before the appropriate regional and international authorities responsible for protecting human rights.

According to documentation based on the contents of the threats received by Wornat and Monroy, there are sufficient grounds to believe that they are aimed at uncovering further information and the identity of the sources for a journalistic investigation focusing on the administration of President Felipe Calderón.

ARTICLE 19 reiterates its concern over the high level of risk faced by both Wornat and Monroy, and at the same time alerts Mexican society and the international community to the danger presented by the illusion of protection that has been promoted by the federal government.

ARTICLE 19 sends a strong appeal to the Mexican state calling for an investigation into the death threats in order to identify and punish those who are behind them. The organisation also asks President Calderón to make a clear and strong statement against any attempts to limit freedom of expression and the free flow of ideas and opinions, even if it means questioning the results and performance of those who are in charge of governmental affairs under his leadership.

ARTICLE 19 believes the federal government should honour the commitments made in an October 27 hearing, in Washington, before the Inter American Commission on Human Rights on this very matter.

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