Free Martín Méndez!

Free Martín Méndez!

A Mexican journalist seeking asylum from death threats has no place in detention!

On February 5th, 2017, Mexican journalist Martín Méndez Pineda came to the United States border seeking asylum from growing death threats in Guerrero, Mexico. Instead, he was taken into custody at the border by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and has been detained ever since.

After publishing an article exposing police misconduct in Guerrero in February 2016, several men came to Méndez’s home where they assaulted and threatened to kill him. He was subjected to intimidation and harassment by Mexican federal officers thereafter. Following months of persecution, Méndez went into hiding for fear of his life and eventually fled Guerrero for the U.S. border. On February 5th 2017, Méndez was detained in El Paso, Texas, where he remains in custody.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) deplores this egregious and inexplicable conduct by ICE and calls on the authorities to free Martín Méndez, who broke no law in seeking asylum and does not have a criminal record.

Unfortunately, Méndez’s predicament is not unique. There have been several cases of journalists seeking refuge in the United States who have instead been placed in detention at the border for unacceptably long periods of time.

Martín Méndez had the right to lawfully seek asylum in the country that has now locked him up without charge or provocation, and has no place in custody.

Mexico is the deadliest country for journalists in the Western Hemisphere, ranking 149th out of 180 on RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. In March alone, three journalists were gunned down in public: Cecilio Pineda Birto in Guerrero, Miroslava Breach in Chihuahua, and Ricardo Monlui in Veracruz. There were also two attempted murders of journalists in the same month.

Join us at Reporters Without Borders by signing the petition urging the U.S. authorities to free Martín Mendez, an innocent journalist persecuted for doing his job. Share with your networks using #FreeMartinMendez.

Read more about Martín’s case here:

RSF article

Washington Post article

Texas Tribune