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"Noroeste" correspondent threatened

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - Mexico City, December 6, 2011 - Luis Peraza Ibarra, the correspondent for the daily "Noroeste" in the municipality of Concordia, in the state of Sinaloa, received threatening anonymous messages to his mobile phone. Editors from the paper, who accompanied the reporter when he filed a complaint with local authorities, considered that the threats could be due to his journalistic work.

Peraza Ibarra is 23 years old and has just started working as a reporter a few months ago. His work consists of reporting on political and administrative issues in the municipality of Concordia; he does not usually address issues related to public security or organized crime activity in the region.

Among the delicate issues that have been addressed by the reporter are the personal interests of the local mayor, José Eligio Medina Rios. According to the reports by Peraza Ibarra, the mayor is interested in the construction of a road next to one of his properties; the value of the property would increase after the construction of the road.

The threat against Peraza Ibarra comes after other actions against "Noroeste". On July 2, 2011 unidentified men left a corpse in front of the facade of the newspaper, and on September 1, 2010, after making two threatening calls, a group of criminals opened fire on the offices of the newspaper.

ARTICLE 19 calls on the Attorney General of Sinaloa to conduct a diligent investigation of these acts and to punish those who are responsible. It also urges the authorities to ensure the necessary security conditions for journalists to do their work and to fulfill their responsibility of guaranteeing and protecting freedom of expression under their jurisdiction.

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