Knight Center
Knight Center

JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Twitter user arrested in Mexico for joke about recent death of interior minister




"I haven't left work early since Mouriño's plane fell. Be careful fellow flyers," posted a Twitter user in Mexico just days before the helicopter carrying the Mexican interior minister and seven others crashed on Nov. 11 outside Mexico City. "Tomorrow on 11/11 a secretary will fall from the sky," tweeted another user with the handle Morf0.

Both Twitter users clarified that their tweets were jokes and the timing was merely coincidental. Instead, they said that the tweets were referring to the third anniversary of the mysterious accident that caused the crash of a small plane carrying the previous interior minister and a prosecutor with the Attorney's General office in 2008.

The Attorney General of the Republic confirmed the arrest of Mario Flores, known as mareoflores, on Nov. 13, "in order to exhaust every possible lead," according Animal Político.

The federal agency freed Mario Flores after questioning him about his tweet, "Ugh, off to take a bath after a long day of knocking helicopters out of the sky."

The Commission on Human Rights for the Federal District condemned the detention of the Twitter user, who was violently arrested and without a warrant, according to Milenio.

Senator Francisco Javier Castellón Fonseca categorized the arrest as an attack on free expression, according the Associated Press.

After the arrests, #MeArrestoLaPGRPorque (the Attorney General arrested me because) became the top trend for Mexican Twitter users on Nov. 14, according to the news agency Proceso.

See this Knight Center Twitter feed for more similar cases related to social media and freedom of expression.



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