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Statement by Mexican journalists calls out repressive actions of state officials

This article was originally published on sipiapa.org on 5 November 2014.

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned acts of censorship, discrimination and repression by members of the Querétaro state government in Mexico taken against local journalists, and called on the federal government for guarantees for the safety of reporters.

Some 75 journalists in Querétaro complained in a public statement of threats, discrimination and repression on the part of state officials in the administration of Governor Antonio Calzada.

The journalists condemned the order by the state's Government Secretary to censor and instigate an attack on Juan Manuel Auzua, host of the program “The Night Guardian” broadcast by 92.7 FM radio, in which he had raised the issue of lack of security in the state.

IAPA President Gustavo Mohme, of the Peruvian newspaper La República, declared that “we also issue a call on the government of Mexico to strengthen the mechanisms established to investigate crimes against freedom of expression and protect the work of journalists.”

For his part, the chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added that “we condemn the attacks on journalists and ask the Querétaro state government to look into the practices of its officials and their relationship with the press, and take the necessary steps to prevent threats or incitement to violence against reporters.”

The calls by the IAPA officers also highlight a lack of effectiveness by the authorities to investigate the cases of five Mexican journalists murdered this year for reasons connected with their work. The IAPA has been systematically highlighting, for the federal government, the poor effectiveness demonstrated by the Special Prosecutor's Office and the Mechanism for the Protection of Journalists.

Its most recent report and resolution on Mexico discussed during a meeting in Chile last month “requests Congress and the Federal Executive Power to strengthen the institutions they have set up to prevent, oversee and investigate the crimes committed against freedom of speech, providing more economic resources and sufficient personnel to improve their effectiveness, and curtail the impunity associated therewith.”

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