Mexico Red Alert: “Death to El Imparcial”

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El Imparcial at this hour. Bottom, center: “Condolences from Governor Ruiz.”

The area has been the subject of local, national and international coverage recently because of the discovery of a hidden grave containing the remains of 7 persons from a community in the region, as well as the seizure of arms and vehicles and the arrest of persons allegedly tied to the narcotraffic.

The director and general manager of EL IMPARCIAL, Mr. Fernández Pichardo, stated that in recent times, crime and vendettas, intimidation and threats, seem to have become the new language that organized crime assassins, the narcotraffic, and political mafias are using to silence the free and independent press.

In the township of Juchitán de Zaragoza, a group of PRI supporters assaulted the regional reporter from the El Sur weekly, Guadalupe Ríos López, as she covered charges of vote-buying in that town.

Ejecutan a siete personas en Guerrero: La Jornada (Mexico) compiles the wire service coverage.

CC: David “Fear and Misinformation Abound” Sasaki.

Alongside the coverage of a number of violent incidents throughout the country– the top story is the gruesome “headless, barbecued corpses found near topless beaches of Acapulco” — there’s this, from Oaxaca:

Tres voceadores del diario El Imparcial del Istmo fueron emboscados y ultimados a balazos la tarde de ayer en la carretera Salina Cruz-Tehuantepec cuando a bordo de una camioneta repartían el periódico, que se edita en la ciudad de Oaxaca.

Three street vendors of the daily newspaper El Imparcial del Istmo were ambushed and shot to death yesterday afternoon on the Salina Cruz-Tehuantepec highway aboard a pick-up truck that was distributing the newspaper, which is produced in the capital city.

Since they were not journalists, but “support staff,” no doubt the Committee to Protect Reporters and Brazil’s FENAJ will not trouble themselves over the incident.

Gonzalo Domínguez, director regional del periódico, vía telefónica reveló que él había sido amenazado de muerte desde hace varios meses por una voz anónima que le pedía no informar sobre hechos violentos ocurridos en en la región.

Gonzalo Domínguez, regional director of the newspaper, said by telephone that he had been receiving death threats for several months from an anonymous voice that told him not to report on violent incidents in the region.

What is El Imparcial reporting, anyway, that someone would want to kill them?

It also happens to be election season in the state, note. Reportedly, the PRI has captured 90 city governments — 73% of the population — with some 46% of the votes, while the number of PAN-controlled townships has dwindled by half.

Other headlines in the Imparcial today:

Among the three “minor” incidents:

Por otra parte, en el municipio de Juchitán de Zaragoza, un grupo de priístas agredió a la reportera regional del periódico El Sur, Guadalupe Ríos López, cuando cubría la denuncia de unos vecinos sobre la compra de votos en esa municipalidad.

In the township of Juchitán de Zaragoza, a group of PRI supporters assaulted the regional reporter from the El Sur weekly, Guadalupe Ríos López, as she covered charges of vote-buying in that town.

And what will be the response of the newly-created office of the federal attorney dedicated to investigating crimes against the press?

Will it investigate?

Here is a backgrounder today from El Imparcial:

En las últimas horas, la región del Istmo de Tehuantepec, se ha visto convulsionada por el constante actuar violentos de grupos ligados a la delincuencia organizada, que ha sentado sus reales en aquella zona de Oaxaca.

In the last few hours, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec area has been shaken by constant violent acts by groups tied to organized crime that have settled in that part of Oaxaca.

La zona ha resaltado a nivel local, nacional e internacional por el hallazgo de una fosa clandestina con restos de 7 personas en una comunidad de la región, el aseguramiento de armas, vehículos y personas ligadas supuestamente al narcotráfico.

The zone has been the subject of local, national and international coverage because of the discovery of a hidden grave containing the remains of 7 persons from a community in the region, as well as the seizure of arms and vehicles and the arrest of persons allegedly tied to the narcotraffic.

Y es que a pesar de los operativos policiacos en la región del Istmo de Tehuantepec, han continuado los ataques hacia esta, hace apenas unas horas ocurrió un segundo atentado en contra de la comandancia regional de Seguridad Pública en Juchitán de Zaragoza.

Despite the police presence in the Isthmus, attacks have continued; a few hours ago a second attack was launched on the regional command center for public security in Juchitán de Zaragoza.

De la misma forma han ocurrido hechos en contra de periodistas por dar cobertura a hechos ligados al crimen organizado, ayer un grupo de hombres armados dieron muerte a tres voceadores de esta Casa Editorial.

Likewise, attacks have been made on journalists for reporting on organized crime. Yesterday, a group of armed men killed three street vendors of this publishing house.

Aunque la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE) investiga el homicidio de los tres voceadores que fueron atacados con armas de fuego cuando se trasladaban a bordo de una camioneta propiedad del periódico sobre la carretera Transístmica, voces piden justicia y no dejar el caso en la impunidad.

Although the state attorney is investigating the murders of three news vendors who wer attacked with firearms aboard a truck belonging to this newspaper on the Transístmica highway, voces are calling for justice and not to let the crime end in impunity.

Cabe señalar que los acontecimientos ocurrieron a la altura del kilómetro 291+700, entre Tehuantepec y Salina Cruz.

The events transpired near kilometer 291+700, between Tehuantepec and Salina Cruz.

De acuerdo a la investigación 91/SC/2007, los hechos ocurrieron este lunes alrededor de las 13:15 horas, cuando los trabajadores del citado diario, Agustín López, Mateo Cortes Martínez y Flor Vásquez López, viajaban por la carretera federal 185, a bordo de una camioneta Chevy, color blanco, con placas de circulación RT-84503 y logotipos del periódico El Imparcial.

According to investigation No. 91/SC/2007, the incident occurred this Monday at around 1:15 pm, when the three workers were traveling along Federal Highway 185, on board a white Chevy pickup, license plate RT-8450, bearing the logo of this newspaper.

Repentinamente, a la altura del fraccionamiento La Noria, fueron interceptados por un grupo de sujetos armados a bordo de una camioneta Equinox con los cristales polarizados, desde donde les dispararon con arma de fuego.

Suddenly, near the La Noria exit, they were intercepted by a group of armed men on board an Equinox pickup with polarized glass, from inside of which the gunshots were fired.

Tras el atentado, el área fue acordonada por efectivos del Ejército Mexicano, Marina, Policía Federal Preventiva y elementos de diversas corporaciones policíacas, sin que hayan dado con los criminales.

After the attack, the area was cordoned off by Mexican Army and Navy troops, agents of the federal police (PFP) and members of various police forces, who did not enounter the criminals.

En el lugar de los hechos se constituyó el agente del Ministerio Público apoyado por peritos en medicina forense, balística, química, planimetría y fotografía, así como de elementos de la Policía Ministerial, quienes realizaron las primeras diligencias del caso.

At the scene, an agent of the state prosecutor, supported by forensic medical, ballistics, and [other] experts, as well as elements of the state police, began the preliminary investigation.

También en la región del Istmo se han registrado ataques armados en contra de corporaciones policiacas, quienes en las últimas semanas se han apoyado y coordinado con elementos del Ejército Mexicano.

Also in the Isthmus area, armed attacks have been reported on police forces, which in recent weeks have been supported by and coordinated with Mexican army troops.

A statement of solidarity, also from today’s Imparcial:

El director y Gerente General de EL IMPARCIAL, Benjamín Fernández Pichardo, aseguró que en los últimos tiempos, el crimen y las vendettas, la intimidación y la amenaza, parecen ser el nuevo lenguaje que utilizan para silenciar a la Prensa libre e independiente, los sicarios al servicio del crimen organizado y el narcotráfico, o las mafias de la política.

The director and general manager of EL IMPARCIAL, Mr. Fernández Pichardo, state that in recent times, crime and vendettas, intimidation and threats, seem to have become the new language that organized crime assassins, the narcotraffic, and political mafias are using to silence the free and independent press.

Denunció el clima de incertidumbre e inseguridad que priva en la región del Istmo de Tehuantepec, acusó que el crimen organizado pretende amordazar y silenciar a los medios de comunicación en esa región del estado y advirtió que EL IMPARCIAL no será “cómplice” de hechos delictivos.

He denounced the climate of [David Sasaki-style “fear, uncertainty and doubt”] that prevails in the Isthmus, accused organized crime of trying to gag and silence the news media in the region, and said the IMPARCIAL will not be “complicit” in criminal activities.

Convocó a los demás medios de comunicación del estado a “cerrar filas” al considerar que es la única forma de acabar con “esta lacra social” que mantiene en la zozobra y prácticamente asustados y ocultos a reporteros en esa zona de la entidad, pues “los comunicadores como única protección tenemos a Dios, rezarle y pedirle que nos permita llegar con bien a casa”.

He called on all the news media in the state to “close ranks,” saying this is the only way to end this “social scourge” that keeps reports in this region frightened, nervous and in hiding, for “as journalists, the only protection we have is God, to pray and ask him to let us return safely home.”

See also

Stay tuned.

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