• Day of Freedom of Expression, June 7, 2018

    News and Commentary

    Manuel Buendía Tellezgirón

    A statement from PEN Mexico, endorsed by PEN Guadalajara and PEN San Miguel. Haga clic aquí para ver el original en español.

    We have arrived at June 7th, the Day of Freedom of Expression, apparently forgetting the anniversary of the death of Manuel Buendía, “the first journalist assassinated by the narcopolitica”, a phrase borrowed from the post-mortem title of Miguel Ángel Granados Chapa’s book on Buendía. This year only three journalists were present on the 30th of May to commemorate the thirty-fourth anniversary of Buendía’s death at the Plaza Zarco on Avenue Reforma, dedicated to freedom of expression, and situated a few steps from the Caballito de Sebastián. This happened, most likely, because of discouragement at the lack of response of the authorities, or because our hard-working journalists have been busy burying one dead colleague after another; or organizing protests in spite of recent threats this week, such as those that have been published against Raymundo Campos de Sabinas in Coahuila; or combating campaigns of defamation like the one launched, via WhatsApp, against Gabriele Soto of Culiacan. PEN has been organizing support groups and public protests against murders such as the assassination of Héctor González in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, on the 28th of May, or the killing of the photographer María del Sol Cruz Jarquín in Juchitán, Oaxaca on June 3rd. Continue Reading »

  • PEN International commemorates murdered journalists on the Day of the Dead

    News and Commentary

    San Miguel PEN Day of the Dead Altar

    The Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) is an annual celebration that began in pre-Columbian central Mexico, but has spread to the rest of Latin American and areas of the US and Canada where there are concentrations of Mexican emigrants. The celebrations are often family get-togethers at cemeteries, where departed family members and friends are honored with “altars” decorated with pictures of the deceased, as well as offerings, such as sugar skulls and glasses of tequila.

    This year, PEN International, and organization in support of freedom of expression that has been around since 1921, decided to make the Day of the Dead an occasion to remember journalists who have been murdered throughout Latin America. They organized events in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Chile, and Argentina.

    Here are accounts of five of them:

    San Miguel PEN Day of the Dead Altar

    San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: A large altar was constructed in the Jardin by Lauren Leonardi, Ernesto Espinoza Lopez, and José Juárez Montiel. It featured pictures of all 15 Mexican journalists that have been murdered this year. Included in this were two journalists previously documented on Daily Kos, newspaper correspondent Miroslava Breach Velducea and author Javier Valdez Cárdenas. Both of them worked for the Mexico City newspaper La Jornada. Judith Hill, President of the San Miguel Center, composed a poem for the occasion, which appears below. Slide show Continue Reading »

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