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Academic threatened and censored in Sinaloa

(CENCOS/IFEX) - Florencio Posadas Segura, a professor at the Autonomous Univesity of Sinaloa (Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, UAS), was censored after commenting on new regulations being implemented by the university during the morning programme "A Primera Voz", which airs on the university radio station, Radio UAS. On 13 and 15 May 2009, while participating in the programme, Posados Segura commented on the topic of the regulations, which cover succession in the rector's position, noting that the new rules "had not passed democratic and academic tests."

As a result of his comments, Posadas Segura was initially severely reprimanded by university authorities, including the radio programme's host, the director of the radio station and both the university's secretary general and its rector. The host of the programme, Víctor Hugo Aguilar Gaxiola, subsequently told him in a telephone call that, on orders from the rector, Héctor Melesio Cuén Ojeda, he would no longer be allowed on air on the university station.

In an interview with CENCOS, Posadas Segura said that Aguilar Gaxiola also said in a threatening manner, "Be careful what you say because a car could run you over." Posadas Segura said that he feared for his safety and, as such, filed a complaint with the state human rights commission (Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos). He also expressed indignation at the actions taken against his right to express himself.

Posadas Segura has had a long career as a professor and investigator in the UAS's Social and Economic Investigations Unit (Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales). He recently conducted investigations on agricultural workers in the United States and Mexico. He holds a doctorate in social sciences from the Metropolitan Autonomous University and is a member of several academic committees. He has been a commentator on Radio UAS for ten years.

CENCOS is concerned over the decision of the UAS's authorities to censor Posadas Segura. As such, the organisation calls on the university's rector and the directors of Radio UAS to reconsider their actions and implement measures to ensure that Posadas Segura can express himself freely and to safeguard the right of Sinaloans to receive information and opinions about topics of public interest.

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