Mexiko: Schicksal vermisster Journalisten muss aufgeklärt werden

Das jüngste Verschwinden zweier Journalisten in Mexiko verstärkt beim internationalen PEN die anhaltende Sorge um die Sicherheit von Journalisten im Land.
José Moisés Sánchez Cerezo, Herausgeber einer Zeitung, wurde Anfang 2015 im Bundesstaat Veracruz als vermisst gemeldet, während Mario Alberto Crespo Ayón, ein Fernsehreporter und Zeitungsjournalist aus dem Staat Sinaloa, seit Anfang Dezember 2014 nicht mehr gesehen wurde. Der PEN ruft die mexikanischen Behörden dazu auf, das Verschwinden der Journalisten zu untersuchen, ihr Schicksal zu klären und mögliche Täter zur Rechenschaft zu ziehen.

Um zu gewährleisten, dass an erster Stelle mögliche Verbindungen zu ihrer Arbeit untersucht werden, sollten die Untersuchungen den Sonderermittlern für Verbrechen gegen die Meinungsfreiheit (Fiscal Especial para la Atención de Delitos cometidos en contra de la Libertad de Expresión – FEADLE) überlassen werden.

Mindestens 11 weitere Printjournalisten sind im letzten Jahrzehnt in Mexiko verschwunden – ein Viertel von ihnen im Bundesstaat Veracruz. Sie gehören zu tausenden Menschen im Land, die auf ähnliche Weise verschwunden sind. In den meisten Fällen ist es den Behörden nicht gelungen, die Schicksale zu klären, was die behördlichen Verpflichtungen nach internationalem Recht verletzt. Die Bundesregierung von Enrique Peña Nieto, die im Dezember 2012 die Amtsgeschäfte übernommen hat, hat einige Maßnahmen ergriffen, um das Ausmaß des Problems zu ermitteln. Trotzdem muss eine Beteiligung von Staatsbediensteten bei den Fällen weiterhin in Betracht gezogen werden.

Als Journalist in Mexiko zu arbeiten ist voller Gefahren, da das Land einer Spirale der Gewalt unterliegt, die von den Drogenkartellen und der bewaffneten Gegenoffensive der Regierung immer weiter befeuert wird. Mindestens 61 Journalisten wurden in den letzten zehn Jahren getötet; neben Veracruz gehören zu den gefährlichsten Staaten für Journalisten Tamaulipas, Guerreo und Chihuahua. Nur sehr wenige der dort verübten Mordtaten wurden völlig aufgeklärt (cm/sf).

Hintergrund (bereitgestellt vom internationalen PEN)

José Moisés Sánchez Cerezo. Quelle: PEN International/Diario19.com

José Moisés Sánchez Cerezo. Quelle: PEN International/Diario19.com

On 2 January 2015, José Moisés Sánchez Cerezo was abducted from his home in Medellín de Bravo, Veracruz state, by a group of heavily armed men. His abductors also seized his computer, camera and mobile telephone before bundling him into one of three vehicles. He has not been seen or heard from since.

Sánchez, aged 49, is the owner and editor of La Unión, a free weekly print and digital newspaper circulated in communities surrounding Medellín de Bravo, Veracruz; he reportedly also works as a taxi driver. Active in his local community and involved in the local neighbourhood watch group, he has often been critical of the local authorities’ track record in tackling crime both in his articles and on Facebook, according to reports.

Mario Alberto Crespo Ayón. Quelle: PEN International/debate.com.mx

Mario Alberto Crespo Ayón. Quelle: PEN International/debate.com.mx

Recently, Sánchez had reported on – and participated in – recent protests against alleged abuses carried out by the mayor of Medellín de Bravo. Three days before his abduction, on 30 December, Sánchez was warned to stop his reporting by an unidentified man who approached his home, according to his son. His family are reported to believe that Sánchez was been targeted for these articles and have linked the mayor to the incident. However, the mayor denied any involvement in a public statement made on 5 January and confirmed that he would cooperate with the investigation into the disappearances, according to news reports.  A month earlier, Mario Alberto Crespo Ayón, a former print journalist currently working for Uno TV, disappeared after leaving his home in Mazatlán, Sinaloa state, on 3 December 2014. Shortly before, Crespo spoke with family members on the telephone and arranged to meet his girlfriend later that day. Family members have attempted to call his mobile telephone; however it appears to be switched off. His family reported his disappearance to the attorney general’s office. Crespo has previously worked for the newspapers Noroeste, Primera Hora and Línea Directa.

Mexico is a state party to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Enforced disappearance is defined as ‘the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person’. Disappearance is a term used when there is evidence that the victim was abducted and their whereabouts remain unknown, but there is no evidence that state agents were involved either directly or indirectly.

Under the Convention, states have an obligation to accept reports of enforced disappearances and undertake prompt, thorough and impartial investigations. In addition, states must also investigate all disappearances carried out by people acting without the authorization, support or acquiescence of the state. In other words, in cases of disappearances and enforced disappearances, the state has an obligation to establish the whereabouts of the victim; bring to justice the perpetrators; and ensure victims or their relatives receive reparations.

In December 2011, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances said, in a report on a mission to Mexico:

‘The chronic pattern of impunity still exists in cases of enforced disappearance and sufficient efforts are not being made to determine the fate or whereabouts of persons who have disappeared, to punish those responsible and to guarantee the right to the truth and reparation.’