Human Rights Commission investigates harassment against journalists in Yucatán

(Photo: Yucatán a la mano)

The Yucatan Human Rights Commission (Codhey) began an ex officio investigation into alleged cases of harassment against journalists in Yucatan, reported Miguel Óscar Sabido Santana.

This Thursday, April 14, the journalist Félix Bigman, from the independent portal and general director of the Noticia Ciudadana local news outlet, and one of the journalists who were harassed, ratified a complaint that he filed with the agency so that they can address his case of harassment.

The organization has already reported this issue to the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists so that they can also follow up on the reported attacks.

In recent days, the Article 19 group issued an alert for the state, denouncing that on April 11, the Control Judge of the First Judicial Department of the state of Yucatan, Blanca Beatriz Bonilla González; the Attorney General of the state of Yucatán, and the former Undersecretary of the Secretariat of Urban Development and the Environment, Leticia Noemí del Socorro García Maldonado, “once again judicially harassed and criminalized journalists in Yucatán.”

Through an official letter derived from the investigation folder D1/1344/2020, the Prosecutor’s Office reported that Bonilla González ordered in a hearing that the authorities order the media Cambio del Sureste, Grillo de Yucatán, Infolliteras, Noticias al Punto, Yucatán al Segundo and La noticia ciudadana, that they download and eliminate the notes related to the revocation of the retirement of Leticia Noemí del Socorro García Maldonado.

Sabido Santana confirmed that a few days ago the Codhey became aware of this situation, where Article 19 urged the commission to open an investigation file, for which they opened an ex officio file.

They hope that the other media outlets that are being affected will approach Codhey to file their respective complaints, accumulate them and process them.

“Freedom of expression is one of the fundamental rights of all and it must be privileged in any society”, said the head of the Codhey.

Then, he stated that the authorities should not arbitrarily censor or restrict these rights. For this reason, as a result of this complaint, they will carry out investigations to find out what is happening and determine whether the action of the authority is correct or not.

In the event that it is not correct, they will issue the pertinent recommendation or seek the appropriate agreements so that this stops happening in Yucatan, he specified.

For his part, Félix Bigman commented that more than one single attack against a journalist, is an attack on all freedom of expression, not only on the media, or reporters but on all society.

“These actions that they are carrying out derived from a note of social interest where an act of alleged corruption is denounced, due process is beginning to be violated, which is dirty and has a rotten taste and overtones of corruption,” Bigman said.

The journalist declared: “We are not carrying out any illegal act whatsoever.” 

The Yucatan Times
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