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Puebla authorities hinder launch of new book by persecuted writer Lydia Cacho

(CENCOS/IFEX) - Authorities of the state of Puebla are attempting to hinder the public launch of a new book, entitled "Memorias de una infamia" (memoirs of a scandal), by Lydia Cacho. The book is to be launched on 5 April 2008 in the state capital.

The book describes the experiences of the author when she was detained in Cancún, in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, and then transferred to the central state of Puebla at the behest of Mario Marín, governor of Puebla state, after she published the book "Los Demonios del Edén" which exposed a pedophile ring and the connections to it of prominent Mexican business figures and politicians.

Following the publication of that book, in 2006 various audio recordings came to light in which two of those implicated in the book - Marín and businessman Kamel Nacif - plotted against Cacho. "Yesterday I gave that old bitch a damn smack," says one of them, apparently referring to her arrest, in one of the recorded conversations.

Norma Bautista, communications chief for Random House Mondadori publishers, told "El Universal" newspaper that, on 14 March, her company erected a billboard in the city of Puebla to advertise the book's publication. "We were later told that the advertisement had been removed because the structure was unsafe," said Bautista. However, the billboard structure remained in place; only the advertisement had been removed and replaced with another. CENCOS believes it is more than a coincidence that this should happen in the same state where the governor ordered Cacho's arrest over her previous book.

CENCOS considers this attempt to hinder the public launch of Cacho's book to be an indirect restriction of free expression, and calls upon the local authorities to explain why they are failing in their obligation to protect this fundamental right.

Updates the Cacho case:

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