Mexican governor files charges against two journalists, media fear 17 more
The state government of Puebla filed a legal complaint against two journalists for "abusing freedom of expression" and the local press reported that the government is considering 17 more similar cases, according the news agency AFP.
The two charged reporters are Fabián Gómez, director of the website Contraparte Informativa, and Adrián Ruiz, columnist for the newspaper El Heraldo de Puebla, reported CNN México.
A spokesman for the governor said that the charges of moral damages originated from the journalists' use of humiliating language, referring to the officials as a rat, a dog, a pig, a homosexual, a maid, and a pet, among others and that the journalists ignored letters regarding the alleged repeated libel, according to Proceso and Intolerancia Diario.
During a press conference, Governor Rafael Moreno Valle demanded a public apology from the two accused reporters but added that he would not jail any journalists, unlike his predecesor, Mario Marín, who infamously arrested journalist Lydia Cacho in 2005, reported the website Contraparte Informativa. Gómez claimed he received threats over the telephone from Governor Rafael Moreno Valle over his critical editorial stance, according to CNN México.
Lawyer Ernesto Villanueva said that the charges should have been filed as personal and not in the name of the state government, according to Intolerancia Diario.
Issa Luna Pla, a legal researcher at the Autonomous National University of Mexico, said that the possible wave of charges against journalists would be comparable to a similar move from Hugo Chávez's regime in Venezuela aimed at silencing the press, reported El Heraldo de Puebla.
- Puebla, Mexico sees rash of death threats against reporters
- Police arrest and rob two reporters in Mexico
- Second university in Mexico announces the end of its journalism program
- Paraguayan journalist sues governor over death threat
- Independent journalist shot to death after reporting on military operation in Mexico