Mexican Journalist Denounces Harassment

Letter to the Editor in ‘La Jornada’

Mexican Journalist Denounces Harassment

I am a freelance journalist, author of two books—México armado (1943-1981) and Corte de caja, an interview with Subcomandante Marcos—and I write for the magazine Gatopardo. I am resorting to this channel in order to denounce the increasing use of intimidation being targeted against my journalistic work, which focuses primarily on radical political movements and guerrillas.

I have become the victim of illegal surveillance and interference with my telephone and e-mail; and in recent days, while I was traveling abroad to promote my latest book, intruders broke into my apartment through the balcony. However, this was not a common burglary for the assailants did not steal any objects of value. They went into the bathroom where they defecated and urinated, as well as rummaged through my personal items. They left the

bathroom window and balcony open so as to leave visible traces of their presence. The only object that they stole was my reporter’s notepad, which was next to the computer. The following day I noticed a man with a military appearance prowling around my building on a bicycle, and upon being discovered the man hid his face.

The surveillance activities directed against me and my home were evident. I will present a formal complaint before the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes against Journalists (Fiscalía Especial para la Atención de Delitos contra Periodistas) of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR). Not because I hold any faith in its justice, but in order for my name to be recorded for posterity, in the archives of ignominy.

Article 19 affirms that in 2009 sixty-five percent of all attacks against journalists in Mexico were committed by the State. I hereby hold the government of Felipe Calderón responsible for any actions taken against my physical integrity or that of my family. I remain with pen in hand.

Laura Castellanos

Translated from Spanish by Bruno Renero-Hannan

Carta en ‘La Jornada’ en español

Periodista denuncia hostigamiento

Soy periodista independiente, autora del libro México armado (1943-1981) y

Corte de caja, entrevista con el subcomandante Marcos, y escribo en la revista Gatopardo. Recurro a este espacio para denunciar la intimidación creciente sobre mi ejercicio periodístico, enfocado particularmente en movimientos radicales y guerrilleros. He sido víctima de vigilancia,

intervención telefónica y cibernética, y en días pasados, aprovechando mi

ausencia por un viaje de promoción de mi obra, ingresaron a mi departamento

por el balcón. No fue un acto de delincuencia común, pues no sustrajeron nada de valor. Se dirigieron al baño y defecaron y orinaron, además de que manipularon mis objetos de uso personal. Dejaron abierta la ventana del baño y del balcón para que fuera ostensible su paso. Lo único que sustrajeron fue la libreta de reportera que tenía al lado de la computadora. Al día

siguiente un hombre en bicicleta con apariencia castrense rondó mi edificio, y al ser descubierto ocultó su rostro.

Los actos de vigilancia hacia mi persona y domicilio fueron evidentes.

Interpondré una denuncia en la Fiscalía Especial para la Atención de Delitos contra Periodistas de la PGR. No porque crea en su justicia, sino para que mi nombre quede para la posteridad, en los archivos de la ignominia.

Artículo 19 afirma que 65 por ciento de las agresiones a periodistas de

México en 2009 fueron perpetradas por el Estado. Hago responsable de cualquier acto contra mi integridad y la de mi familia al gobierno de Felipe Calderón. Sigo con la pluma en la mano.

Laura Castellanos

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