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Mexico, 5/11/2016

Sr. Presidente
Enrique Peña Nieto
President of Mexico

Sra. Fiscal
Arely Gomez Gonzalez
Attorney General of Mexico

Dear Sir and Madam:


We are saddened and disturbed at the April 25 murder of journalist Francisco Pacheco Beltrán, from Taxco, Guerrero state. He was a reporter for several regional newspapers and a regular contributor to a radio station.

 Francisco Pacheco Beltrán, age 55, was returning home just after 6 a.m. after taking one of his daughters to a bus terminal. Assailants attacked him in front of his home and shot him twice in the back of the head.  Another daughter and his mother were in their home at the time of the attack. The daughter said they heard two noises which sounded like firecrackers, and upon inspection found the lifeless body of her father near the front door of the house.

 Francisco Pacheco Beltrán covered local news as a correspondent for the daily Sol de Acapulco; was the editor of Foro de Taxco, a weekly magazine; and contributed regularly to Capital Máxima, a radio broadcaster based in Chilpancingo. He also had a website, where he regularly posted articles on regional crime and violence—which in recent years has spiked in relation to organized crime and drug trafficking. The nearby city of Iguala was the scene of a mass abduction and suspected murder of 43 students in 2014.

 Some local media reports described Francisco Pacheco Beltrán’s work as critical of local authorities. However, family members and colleagues said he had not reported receiving any threats and did not seem concerned about his safety.

 Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to work as a journalist, according to CPJ research. Since 2015, at least 12 journalists have been in Mexico. In Guerrero, 67 journalists have been attacked since 2015. 

 Because of our continued concern for the safety of journalists in Mexico, we strongly urge that you

  • carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the killing of Francisco Pacheco Beltrán, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice;
  • guarantee that journalists are able to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.




 Brian J. Stefan Szittai           and          Christine Stonebraker-Martinez