7 September 2011

Two women journalists found strangled in Mexico City

Two women journalists were found dead in a park in eastern Mexico City on 1 September, their bodies naked with their hands and feet tied, with signs of strangulation and at least one gunshot wound, report ARTICLE 19, Centro Nacional de Comunicación Social (CENCOS) and other IFEX members.

The authorities identified the bodies as journalist Marcela Yarce Viveros, one of the founders of the political magazine "Contralínea", and Rocío González Trápaga, a freelance journalist and former reporter for Televisa.

According to ARTICLE 19, Mexico City Attorney General Miguel Ángel Mancera said that robbery could have been the motive. González was the owner of a currency exchange kiosk in the Mexico City airport, and apparently made a large money withdrawal the day before her body was found.

Yarce was in charge of public relations for the magazine and she was not doing journalistic work and had not received previous threats, according to Miguel Badillo, editor of the independent publication. The magazine, however, had been the target of intimidation threats in the past and lawsuits for its reporting on corruption.

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) is asking that nothing be ruled out before investigating the motives. "We have gathered sufficient experience in these last few years to feel that there should be no pre-judgment of any action against a journalist until exhaustive and conclusive investigations are carried out," IAPA said.

According to ARTICLE 19, this is the first time there has been a reported killing of a journalist in Mexico City since November 2006 - around the same time the offensive against drug trafficking started.

This crime brings the total number of journalists killed in Mexico to 80 since 2000, six of which were against women, according to Reporters without Borders (RSF). Mexico leads Latin America as the most dangerous country in the region for journalists. Eight journalists have been killed in Mexico in 2011, says ARTICLE 19.

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