Mexico: Threatened Veracruz journalist, fears for his safety.

Mexico: Veracruz journalist, threatened for book on state governor, fears for his safety.

An earlier version of this statement appeared on PEN International's website.

PEN Center USA joins PEN International in expressing serious concern for the safety of Noé Zavaleta, a Veracruz state correspondent for the national newsweekly magazine Proceso. Zavaleta has been subject to intimidation, threats, and a smear campaign leading up to the launch of his book on the outgoing Veracruz governor, Javier Duarte, entitled, El Infierno de Javier Duarte. Crónica de un gobierno fatídico (Javier Duarte’s Hell: Chronicles of a Fateful Government).

Threats are reported to have come from José Abella, a businsessman named in the book, as well as anonymous messages from e-mail accounts and websites associated with the state government. Some reportedly aim to link the journalist to a criminal group.

Proceso and its correspondents have expressed concern at these attempts to intimidate Zavaleta and undermine his journalistic work. The newspaper has stated that it will hold Abella and the government of Veracruz responsible should anything happen to the journalist.

There is a history of violent attacks on Proceso journalists and in general against reporters in Veracruz. Regina Martínez, a correspondent for Proceso based in Veracruz, was murdered in her home on April 28, 2012. Rubén Espinosa, a photojournalist for the magazine, was killed in Mexico City on July 31, 2015, after relocating from Veracruz due to death threats.

In 2016 alone, three print journalists have been killed. The state also had the highest incidence of attacks on journalists in the first four months of the year, according to Article 19.

Together with PEN International, PEN Center USA calls on the local and federal authorities to ensure Zavaleta’s safety, and to investigate the threats against him as a matter of urgency. It urges the authorities to guarantee the protection of all journalists under attack in Mexico for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Please SHARE this story on social media using the hashtag #NoéZavaleta, in an effort to increase public awareness:



Please SIGN the petition at the bottom of this page to join PEN Center USA in calling on Mexican state and federal authorities to:

  • Provide journalist and author Noé Zavaleta with immediate protection and ensure his safety, so he can carry out his work without censorship or fear;
  • Investigate the threats against Noé Zavaleta and bring those responsible to justice;
  • End the harassment of Mexican journalists for their work, and provide them and all Mexican citizens with the protection they need in order to safeguard their right to freedom of expression.

PEN members are also encouraged to:

  • Publish articles and opinion pieces in your national or local press highlighting the case of Noé Zavaleta in Mexico;
  • Share information about Noé Zavaleta and your campaigning activities via social media;
  • Send messages of solidarity to Noé Zavaleta at @zavaleta_noe on Twitter.
The period for signing this petition is now over.