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Journalist to be compensated for death threats, man responsible also fined

(CEPET/IFEX) - On 21 April 2008, a federal judge fined Demetrio Pineda Ibarra, a former student of the Autonomous University of Champingo (Universidad Autónoma Chapingo) 36,400 pesos (approx. US$3450) and also ordered him to pay compensation equivalent to six months' minimum wage for sending death threats to journalist Dolores de la Rosa Sabre, known as Lolita de la Vega.

A press release from the Attorney General's Office (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR), issued through the Office of Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Journalists (Fiscalía Especial para la Atención a Delitos Contra Periodistas, FEADCP), reported the conviction and sentence.

The criminal investigations determined that Pineda Ibarra was the person who had sent the e-mail messages to De la Rosa Sabre, who hosts the programme "Frente a Frente", broadcast by both Radio Fórmula radio network and Televisión Azteca, a television station available without cable. Pineda Ibarra was apparently incensed by the journalist's on-air criticisms of former presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The PRG press statement said: "Although Pineda Ibarra argued that he may have left his e-mail account open, and that the computer used to send the message belonged to an internet café, not to him, the Public Ministry's investigations determined that the time, personal password, place and user of the computer, as well as the time when the messages were sent and received, all proved the guilt of the accused."

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