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Television cameraman receives death threats in Chilpancingo

(CEPET /IFEX) - The following is a statement from CEPET, an interim member of IFEX:


Julio César Antúnez Villalba, cameraman with the television station Televisa in Chilpancingo, state of Guerrero, has filed a complaint with the state Public Prosecutor's Office (Procuraduría de Justicia del Estado) regarding death threats he has been receiving via telephone.

The journalist stated that at 2:20 p.m. (local time) on 20 May 2007, he received a call in which a man's voice told him: "We know where you are and you will pay the price." The journalist thought it was a joke, hung up and turned off his cell phone for the remainder of the afternoon.

Nonetheless, the moment he turned his cell phone back on, he received another call from a different number, and a voice with a northern Mexican accent said, in a threatening tone: "Why did you hang up on me, bastard; we already know where you are."

Later, Antúnez Villalba received yet another call, from still another number. At that point, he became concerned and filed a complaint with the local office of the Guerrero state public prosecutor. He has accepted protection from the Ministerial Police.

Antúnez Villalba says that he has no known enemies, and asked that the authorities investigate the source of threats thoroughly to identify the culprits.

It is not known if the threats are related to his work as a journalist.

The incident occurred a month and a half after the murder of journalist Amado Ramírez, who worked for the same television station in Acapulco.

CEPET is concerned about the threats against Antúnez Villalba and holds that all such threats against media workers and media outlets represent an offense to society as a whole in that they violate everyone's right to be informed.

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