Mexico: Journalist murdered

Just two days before PEN members worldwide celebrated the courage of their fellow writers under attack for the practice of their professions on International PEN’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer, crime reporter José Armando Rodríguez Carreón was shot dead in front of his family in Ciudad Juárez on 13 November 2008. He is the eighth writer to be murdered in Mexico in 2008, and his death brings to 39 the total number of such killings globally over the last year. English PEN condemns this latest murder in the strongest possible terms and calls on the federal authorities in Mexico to carry out a full and impartial investigation and to bring to justice those responsible.

A crime reporter for local daily El Diario, based in Ciudad Juárez on the border with the United States, José Armando Rodríguez Carreón was shot at least eight times by an unidentified assailant as he was about to drive his daughter to school on the morning of 13 November 2008. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His daughter who was also in the car at the time was uninjured. An investigation has begun and Rodríguez’ journalism is being looked at as a possible motive.

Rodríguez, who had more than 10 years’ experience of reporting on crime, in particular murders, reportedly received a threatening text message in February 2008 telling him to “tone it down”. However, he reportedly refused to stop covering crime stories or to change his beat. According to local press reports, the journalist had also received death threats in recent months and had been offered security measures by the state authorities but had considered them unnecessary. One local journalist mentioned that earlier that week Rodríguez had covered the murder of two police officers.

The state prosecutor and the federal Special Prosecutor on Crimes against Journalists (Fiscalía Especial de

Delitos Cometidos contra Periodistas, FEADP) are in charge of the investigation.



It is understood that more than 1,000 people have been killed in drug-related crimes in Ciudad Juárez this year, including police officers, doctors, lawyers and drug traffickers. On 6 November, a decapitated head was reportedly left at Journalists’ Square in Ciudad Juárez; neither the victim not the perpetrators has been identified.

According to the our records, Rodriguez is the eighth writer killed in Mexico this year, the majority journalists, many of whom covered crime and drug trafficking, as follows:

Francisco Ortiz Monroy, correspondent for the daily newspaper El Diario de México – shot dead in Camargo, Tamaulipas State, on 5 February.
– Bonifacio Cruz Santiago and Alfonso Cruz Cruz, director and editor respectively of the weekly El Real – killed in Chimalhuacan, Mexico State, on 7 February.
– Candelario Pérez Pérez, journalist and editor for crime magazine Sucesos – shot dead in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuhua, on 23 June.
– Miguel Ángel Gutiérrez Ávila, anthropologist, linguist, author and indigenous rights activist – beaten to death in Guerrero State on 25 or 26 July.
– Miguel Angel Villagómez Valle, editor and publisher of the daily regional tabloid newspaper Noticias de Michoacán, based in Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán state, central Mexico, was abducted and shot dead on 9/10 October 2008.

– David García Monroy, columnist for El Diario and contributor to various publications in Chihuahua, Chihuahua State, was killed along with ten other people in a shoot-out in a bar, also on 9 October. The incident was apparently unrelated to Villagómez’ murder.



CPJ report:

El Universal report: (Spanish only)
La Jornada report: (Spanish only)

Please send appeals:

– Expressing grave concern at the murder of the crime reporter José Armando Rodríguez Carreón in Ciudad Juárez on 13 November;  
– Calling for a full, prompt and impartial investigation by the Special Prosecutor on Crimes against Journalists into the killing of Rodríguez and all other unsolved murders of journalists;
– Calling on the government of President Felipe Calderón to prioritise the development of legislation making crimes against journalists a federal offence, which it has pledged to submit in draft form by January 2009.

Appeals to:


Lic. Felipe De Jesús Calderón Hinojosa
Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Oficial de los Pinos Casa Miguel Alemán
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850, DISTRITO FEDERAL, México
Fax: ( 52 55) 5093 4901/ 5277 2376
Salutation: Señor Presidente/ Dear Mr President

(Special Federal Prosecutor on Crimes against Journalists)
Lic. Octavio Alberto Orellana Wiarco
Fiscal Especial para la Atención de Delitos Cometidos contra Periodistas
Procuradoría General de la República
Av. Paseo de la Reforma #211-213
Col. Cuauhtémoc, Del. Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06500, México D.F., MEXICO
Fax: 52 55 53 46 09 08
Salutation: Dear Sir/Señor Fiscal Especial

(Attorney General)
Lic. Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza
Procurador General de la República
Av. Paseo de Reforma No. 211-213, Piso 16
Col. Cuauhtémoc, Defegacion Cuauhtémoc
México D.F. C.P. 06500
Teléfono 52 55 5346 0108
Fax: 52 55 53 46 0908 (if a voice answers, ask “tono de fax, por favor”)
Salutation: Señor Procurador General/Dear Attorney General

Please also send copies of your appeals to the Mexican Embassy in the UK:


Juan José Bremer de Martino
16 St. George Street

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