2 MORE REPORTERS MURDERED BY THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT
Felicitas Martínez and Teresa Bautista, ages 22 and 20, were Indigenous Journalists assassinated on April 7th, 2008 in a shooting by government supported paramilitaries near San Juan Copala in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. According to survivors six men began firing at their car with AK-47 assault rifles. The police found twenty spent bullet cases on the road.
Their murders are only the latest in the massive Government violence against journalist and everyday people in Mexico. According to Reporters Without Borders annual report Mexico is the most deadly country in the Hemisphere for Journalists. In 2007 two were killed and three vanished and in 2006 nine journalists were murdered and three were missing, making the country second only to Iraq for the number of journalists killed.
Amnesty International’s secretary general Irene Khan reported after their 2007 investigation in the state of Oaxaca, “Impunity is so endemic and so entrenched that the authorities seem to tolerate that no one has been held held responsible for over 18 deaths and the hundreds of cases of unfair detentions, torture and harassment.”
The U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in 2007 found that in Mexico, Government “impunity and corruption remained problems. . .. The following human rights problems were reported: unlawful killings by security forces; kidnappings, including by police; physical abuse; poor and overcrowded prison conditions; arbitrary arrests and detention; corruption, inefficiency, and lack of transparency in the judicial system; confessions coerced through physical abuse permitted as evidence in trials; . . . corruption at all levels of government; . . . violence, including killings, against women; trafficking in persons, sometimes allegedly with official involvement.”
Plan Mexico, also called the Merida Initiative, which grew out of NAFTA, is legislation that is currently in the US Congress, it would provide $1.5 billion in US Taxpayer money for equipment to the Mexican military, police and intelligence services. This would reward the Government for its violence and impunity expanding this violence against more young Mexican journalists like Felicitas and Teresa, leading to more migration and poverty for the working people of Mexico and the United States.
STOP PLAN MEXICO!TAKE ACTION NOW! STOP PLAN MEXICO! TAKE ACTION NOW!
To prevent passage of this senseless military package, we need to pressure Congressional representatives NOW!
Taking action against the Merida Initiative is simple:
1. Call the office of your representative and ask that the representative oppose Plan Mexico/Merida Initiative.
To reach the office, call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask to be connected to your House or Senate member (give your state and zip code if you’re not sure who it is).
2. Encourage key Congress members to take a stand against the Merida Initiative:
Representative Howard Berman (D-CA), Chair of the Foreign Affairs committee: 202-225-5021
Representative Eliot Engel, Chair Committee on Hemisphere, Phone : (202) 225-2464 ,
Representative Nita Lowey, Foreign Operations Chair, Email: Megan.Oates@mail.house.gov Phone: 202-225-6506
Tell them to oppose the Merida Initiative “Plan Mexico”
and end the impunity of Mexican security forces, not to reward it.
Organizations Opposed to Plan Mexico: Organizations Opposed to Plan Mexico: WESPAC, the United Steel Workers, Global Exchange, Friends of Brad Will, the Drug Policy Alliance, CISPES, Alliance for Democracy, ARCO and Witness for Peace.