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"Generos" journalist investigating political and police corruption in Sonora attacked, seeks asylum

(CENCOS/IFEX) - Amid the impunity currently the rule regarding attacks on journalists and media outlets, "Generos" newspaper journalist Claudio Tiznado has decided to ask for asylum in the United States, following an assault. "Generos" is a bimonthly newspaper based in Hermosillo, a city in the northern state of Sonora.

Tiznado was assaulted at the end of April 2007. He believes the assault was related to a series of investigative articles he wrote on drug trafficking, implicating corrupt politicians and police in the town of Cananea, a Sonora municipality.

Tiznado did not file a formal complaint with the Mexican authorities about the assault, but instead decided to seek asylum in the United States, in Arizona.

Very little else is known about this case, given than the victim has kept almost absolute silence regarding the matter, and other sources have provided very little information.

It should be noted that two Sonora journalists figure among the seven journalists who disappeared in Mexico in the last two years. One was Alfredo Jiménez Mota, of "El Imparcial" (see IFEX alerts of 24 January 2007, 4 April 2006, 15 and 7 April 2005). Another was Saúl Noe Martínez Ortega, of the Agua Prieta newspaper "Interdiario", whose body was subsequently found in nearby Chihuahua state (see alerts of 27, 24 and 17 April 2007).

CENCOS reiterates its concern about the series of attacks on journalists for their work, and especially about the climate of impunity surrounding these crimes. CENCOS demands that the government investigate these cases and bring those responsible to justice, given that these attacks violation the right to freedom of expression, which the State has a responsibility to protect.

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