September—a deadly month for Mexican journalists
Originally published by Speak Justice
This month, Speak Justice is spreading the word about the anniversaries of four murders of Mexican journalists. All were killed in September from 2008 to 2011.
Who were these four Mexican journalists, and what’s behind their murders?
• Alejandro Zenón Fonseca Estrada, affectionately known by his nickname “El Padrino” (The Godfather), was the charismatic host of a popular morning call-in show “El Padrino Fonseca” (The Godfather Fonseca). The 33 year-old was gunned down on September 24, 2008, by unidentified men in a van as he hung anti-violence posters on a major street in Villahermosa, the capital city of the southern Gulf coast state of Tabasco.
• Norberto Miranda Madrid, known as “El Gallito” (The Tough Guy), wrote a Web column and was a host for the online station Radio Visión. His coverage of the Juárez cartel on the Mexican border with the United States led to threats, colleagues told the Committee to Protect Journalists. On September 23, 2009, the 44 year-old was shot multiple times by two masked gunmen who burst into the offices of the radio station.
• Luis Carlos Santiago, 21, also lived in the border city of Ciudad Juárez. He worked as a photographer with the local daily El Diario. On September 16, 2010, unidentified gunmen shot and killed Santiago. A day after his death, El Diario issued an unusual editorial aimed directly at the drug cartels. In it, the publication said it would willingly compromise its news coverage to preserve the lives of its reporters.
• Maria Elizabeth Macías Castro, 39, reported on the activities of criminal groups on Twitter and the website Nuevo Laredo en vivo (Nuevo Laredo Live) under the pseudonym “La NenaDLaredo” (The girl from Laredo). On September 24, 2011, her decapitated body was found on a road near Nuevo Laredo, with a note that identified the website and her pseudonym. Her murder was the first ever documented by CPJ worldwide that was in direct relation to journalism published on social media.
What do their murders have in common?
• All covered drug cartels and corruption.
• Three had reported receiving threats that were never investigated.
• Not a single person has been brought to justice in these murder cases.
What can you do on Twitter?
Speak Justice has prepared some sample tweets to send to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. We are including them here, but feel free to send your own messages (just remember to include our hashtag #SpeakJusticeNow)!
• @EPN September is a deadly month for Mexican journalists: 4 murdered since 2008 with #impunity. I demand justice. #SpeakJusticeNow
• @EPN I demand justice for Maria Elizabeth Macías Castro & the other 27 journalists murdered with #impunity in Mexico. #SpeakJusticeNow
• @EPN #journalists should not be murdered with #impunity for their work #SpeakJusticeNow