EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 41/86/97
UA 301/97 Fear for Safety/Torture 17 September 1997
MEXICORené SOLORIO, journalist
Ernesto MADRID, journalist
Gerardo SEGURA, journalist
High-Profile News Reporters Tortured in Mexico City
Three high-profile Mexico City news reporters have been abducted, tortured
and threatened with death.
On the night of 13 September, armed men abducted René Solorio, news reporter
for TV Azteca, one of Mexico’s leading television channels. The men drove Solorio
around while they tortured him. On several occasions, Solorio was dragged out
of the car, forced to kneel down, while gun shots were fired over his head
in a mock execution style. Before his release on 13 September, he was threatened
with death if he continued reporting on the corruption and human rights
violations carried out by members of the Policía de Seguridad Pública and Policía
Judicial del Distrito Federal, Federal District’s Public Security and the
Ernesto Madrid, also a reporter for TV Azteca, went through a similar ordeal
on the night of 13 September. A group of policemen abducted and tortured him
before threatening him on the same lines as his colleague. He was released
in the early hours of 14 September. Ernesto Madrid had also been covering police
involvement in corruption and human rights violations.
Gerardo Segura, news reporter of TV Azteca, suffered the same fate on 13
September, and was also threatened with death.
The three journalists were also told to tell their news-director to stop
broadcasting information about police corruption and human rights violations.
To date, no one has been brought to justice.
The police forces in Mexico City are presently under military command, allegedly
to improve their efficiency. They have been increasingly accused of perpetrating
human rights violations while purporting to combat crime. There have also been
growing accusations that the police itself is involved in organized crime,
as acknowledged last August by the governmental Federal District’s Human Rights
On 8 September, Juan Carlos Romero Peralta (17), Daniel Colín Enciso and Miguel
Angel Leal Alonso were abducted, together with three other unidentified
individuals, in front of several witnesses, including relatives, by members
of a special unit of the Federal District’s Public Security Police called
Jaguares. Their tortured bodies were discovered on 9 September. The other
individuals remain “disappeared”. René Solorio and Ernesto Madrid were
investigating this case, as well as other abuses by the police.
Amnesty International has documented an alarming increase in threats, attacks
and execution of journalists in Mexico. The organization fears that the
prevailing climate of human rights violations against journalists may lead
to a dangerous self-imposed censorship in a country which otherwise hails itself