Puebla, Mexico sees rash of death threats against reporters

The House of Journalists' Rights in Mexico warned that there were four cases of death threats in the state of Puebla, according to the newspaper El Heraldo.

The spokeswomen for the House of Journalists' Rights in Puebla, Claudia Martínez, said that her organization reported that the most violent attacks against journalists come from public security chiefs and civil authorities as insecurity continues to rise in the state, according to the newspaper La Jornada de Oriente.

Martínez claimed that the police chief in the city of Teziutlán detained a journalist in Puebla's city hall for his reports on safety in the city while another reporter was threatened.

The third case involved a correspondent for the newspaper Milenio, Pedro Alonso, who received threats from the chief of police in Izúcar de Matamoros during his coverage of a public event. In the fourth instance, local authorities in Cuidad Serdán threatened a radio host.

The host for the radio news agency Vértico, Patricia Estrada, said that censorship and self-censorship in Puebla comes from the government, not organized crime, according to a report from El Heraldo de Puebla.

Last November, an independent journalist was killed in the state after covering a military operation. In 2005, authorities jailed journalist Lydia Cacho on libel and slander charges and recently the state's governor sued two journalists over "abuse of freedom of expression."

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.