12. February 2007
Eduardo Medina Mora, Procurador General de la República
Av. Paseo de Reforma No. 211-213
Col. Cuauhtémoc, Defegacion Cuauhtémoc
México D.F. C.P. 06500
Fax: 00 52 55 5346 0908
I, as Chair of The Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian PEN, am deeply concerned by the disappearance of Rodolfo Rincón Taracena, who has not been seen since 20 January 2007. Nine journalists have been killed, and two others disappeared in Mexico in the past year, a pattern that makes Rodolfo Rincón Taracena’s disappearance especially worrying. I urge the Mexican authorities to undertake an exhaustive investigation into the matter, to find the journalist’s whereabouts.
Rodolfo Rincón Taracena (50), journalist for the daily Tabasco Hoy, located in Villahermosa, state of Tabasco, Southeast Mexico, was last heard of on the morning of the 20 January 2007. He telephoned his wife from his office to let her know that he would be home late in the afternoon, but never arrived. Rodolfo Rincón Taracena had recently published articles on drug trafficking, and he had identified sites where drugs were being sold, alleged apparently naming some dealers. On the day of Rincón’s disappearance he was completing an article on a gang of bank robbers.
The journalist’s family reported the disappearance to the authorities on 23 January 2007, and an investigation was launched by the Tabasco Delegate to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Journalists (Fiscalía Especial para la Atención de Delitos Cometidos contra Periodistas) a post established by the Mexican government in February 2006.
I welcome that an investigation has been initiated into the disappearance of Rodolfo Rincón Taracena, and I urge that all be done to find his whereabouts, However, I am alarmed at the large numbers of journalists killed and disappeared in Mexico in the past year.
Confident that you, Your Excellencies, will see to it that those responsible are brought to justice, and that you will put a stop to this alarming pattern of killings and violence against the press.
Elisabet W. Middelthon/s.
Chair Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN
Carl Morten Iversen
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Norwegian Embassy in Mexico City and Mexican Embassy in Copenhagen