In a video posted yesterday on the website of the daily newspaper El Diario (and subsequently posted on YouTube), the kidnapped brother of former Chihuahua state attorney general Patricia González, lawyer Mario Ángel González, has accused her of ordering the murder of two journalists.
Watch the video (in Spanish, without subtitles)
González is seen handcuffed and surrounded by five heavily armed masked men in the video. Responding to questions, he says that the articles of Armando Rodríguez Carreón of El Diario and Enrique Perea Quintanilla, the founder and editor of the monthly Dos Caras, Una Verdad linked his sister to the Juárez drug-trafficking cartel and that she therefore ordered their execution.
Rodríguez was gunned down outside his home in Ciudad Juárez on 13 November 2008. Perea was murdered on 9 August 2006. In a dubious video sent to TV Azteca three days later, three men are seen confessing to killing Perea on the Juárez cartel’s orders.
Reporters Without Borders treats all allegations of this kind with the required caution.
The carefully-staged interrogation of González raises many questions about the veracity of what is alleged. Who made the recording and with what aim? Who are the armed men surrounding González and why are they on screen? Was González talking spontaneously or was he reciting what he had previously been told to say? The investigations into the unsolved murders of these two journalists should be relaunched on the basis of these questions.
Mexico is ranked 136th out of 178 countries in the press freedom index that Reporters Without Borders released this month. A total of 11 journalists have been murdered in Mexico since the start of the year. It has been established (or is considered probable) in seven of these cases that the murder was linked to the victim’s journalistic work.