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Two years since murder of Juan Francisco Rodríguez Ríos and Andy María Elvira Hernández Galena

(WiPC/IFEX) - 28 June 2012 - Two years ago, husband and wife Juan Francisco Rodríguez Ríos (49) and Andy María Elvira Hernández Galena (36) were shot dead in the internet café they owned near their home in Coyuca de Benítez, Guerrero state, Mexico.

Both were reportedly shot at close range by two unidentified men who drove up to the café. The couple left two children, aged 17 and eight; the younger child witnessed the shooting but was not injured.

Hernández was the editor of the weekly newspaper Semanario La Nueva Linea, while Rodríguez was the local correspondent for two daily newspapers, El Sol de Acapulco and Diario Objetivo. He was a reporter in the Costa Grande region, north of Acapulco, for 20 years and had covered the region for El Sol de Acapulco for 5 years. Rodríguez held the Secretary-General position within the local branch of the National Union of Press Reporters (SNRP) in Coyuca de Benítez and was a member of the technical committee of the Guerrero state Support Fund for Journalists.

Although the motive for the crime remains unknown to date, a few days before the shooting Rodríguez took part in an annual convention for Guerrero state journalists in Coyuca de Benítez, where concerns about increasing violence against journalists in Mexico were raised.

The Guerrero state prosecutor's office began an investigation on 29 June, the outcome of which is still unclear.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to be a writer or journalist. Since the year 2000, over 80 writers, journalists and bloggers have been murdered and at least another 15 have disappeared. Most of these crimes have not been properly investigated and there have been only a handful of convictions.

The rate at which journalists are being killed has accelerated rapidly: since January 2012, eight print journalists and writers have been murdered in Mexico.

A delegation comprised of PEN International's leadership travelled to Mexico this year to highlight the country's climate of impunity and demanded that the authorities take all necessary steps to end it. For more information, please see: PEN Protesta!

On 12 June 2012, PEN International wrote an open letter to all journalists covering the G20 Summit in Mexico on 18-19 June. We asked them - in the course of their coverage of the event - to raise the issue of the attacks on journalists and writers, and the impunity enjoyed by those who commit these crimes.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Write to the President, Attorney General and Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression:
- protesting the continuing attacks on journalists;
- calling for an end to Mexico's climate of impunity in which attacks such as these take place;
- calling on the government to tackle the corruption that pervades Mexican society, and which deters proper investigation of these crimes.

APPEALS TO:
President
Lic. Felipe De Jesús Calderón Hinojosa
Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Oficial de los Pinos Casa Miguel Alemán
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850, DISTRITO FEDERAL, México
Fax: (+ 52 55) 5093 4901/ 5277 2376
E-mail: [email protected]
Salutation: Señor Presidente/ Dear Mr. President

Attorney General
Lic. Marisela Morales Ibáñez
Procuradora General de la República
Av. Paseo de Reforma No. 211-213, Piso 16
Col. Cuauhtémoc, Defegacion Cuauhtémoc
México D.F. C.P. 06500
Tel: + 52 55 5346 0108
Fax: + 52 55 53 46 0908 (if a voice answers, ask "tono de fax, por favor")
E-mail: [email protected]
Salutation: Señora Procuradora General/Dear Attorney General

Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Freedom of Expression
Lic. Laura Borbolla
Fiscal Especial para la Atención de Delitos Cometidos contra la Libertad de Expresión (FEADLE)
E-mail: [email protected]

If possible, please send a copy of your appeal to the Mexican embassy in your country.

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