Mexican reporter's body found

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

His Excellency Francisco Javier Barrio Terrazas, Ambassador to Canada
Embassy of the United Mexican States
45 O’Connor Street, Suites 1000 and 1030
Ottawa, ON K1P 1A4

June 15, 2011

Dear Ambassador,

I am writing on behalf of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of expression around the world.

CJFE is troubled by the murder of reporter Pablo Ruelas Barraza. Ruelas Barraza, 38, was found shot to death in Sonora state on June 13, 2011. It has been reported he was executed by two gunmen who had tried unsuccessfully to kidnap him.

Investigations into Ruelas Barraza’s death should take into account that he may have been killed because of his work, as he had received several death threats. In many regions, cartels have exerted intense pressure on local media outlets to censor their reports or, in some cases, report only what they are told by organized crime syndicates.

Our statistics show that in recent years the number of journalists killed in Mexico has seen a steep incline from three in 2006, to 13 in 2010. In the past decade, more than 70 journalists have been murdered in Mexico. A link between the work of these journalists and their deaths has been established, or is probable, in numerous cases.

CJFE urges the Mexican authorities to adhere to the conditions for protecting journalists as outlined by the federal Mechanism for the Protection of Journalists and its subsequent advisory committee. CJFE calls on the Mexican government to ensure that the Special Prosecutor’s Office receive the resources necessary to conduct proper investigations and take decisive action against further impunity.

We thank you for your attention and I look forward to your reply.

Yours Sincerely,

Arnold Amber, CJFE President

Cc: Mr.Guillermo E. Rishchynski, Ambassador of Canada to the United Mexican States;
The Honourable John Baird, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs