FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHO.- The vehicle of Juan Manuel Ramos, president of the civil society organization Redes Quinto Poder, was set on fire.
WHEN AND WHERE.- City of Monterrey, Mexico, July 19th, at his official address.
CONTACT.- Jorge Luis Sierra email@example.com
EDINBURG, TEXAS.- The Border Center for Journalist and Bloggers expresses its concern and asks the Mexican authorities to take precautionary measures to protect the integrity of Juan Manuel Ramos, president of the civil society organization Redes Quinto Poder, of his family and collaborators. A vehicle owned by his family was set on fire on July 19th.
Redes Quinto Poder is a member of the Border Hub. This organization brings together journalists and civil society associations that promote transparency and freedom of expression on the border of Mexico and the United States.
Redes Quinto Poder is part of a collective that has been critical of the administration of the governor of Nuevo León, Jaime Rodríguez. Together with the civil association Vértebra Nuevo León and Colectivo Nosotros have filed complaints and asked to investigate the state payrolls for the alleged favoritism to relatives of the governor, including the mother-in-law. These cases have been documented by the regional press, as Reforma, El Norte, and Vanguardia.
We express ourselves against any violence, incitement to hatred, or retaliation. Primarily, we support citizens who exercise their right to free expression and the defense of human and civil rights.
We see with grave concern that cases of attacks against human rights defenders and journalists in Mexico remain in impunity in 99 percent of cases, as documented by the CNDH and Article 19.
We ask the state, federal government, the Attorney General’s Office and the protection mechanism, their prompt intervention and, if the attack is confirmed, those responsible are punished.
According to the independent organization Article 19, which contacted Juan Manuel Ramos “around 6:00 a.m. on July 19th, he receives a call from one of his relatives, who informs him that a family-owned van was catching fire. This vehicle was parked outside the domicile of their relatives, whose address is registered both in the driver’s license and in the official identification of Juan Manuel Ramos.
“Members of the fire department, state and municipal police arrived at the scene. Once the fire was controlled, a mechanic checked the truck and told Juan Manuel that due to the characteristics of the fire, it was probably caused intentionally.
“Juan Manuel mentions that this makes sense since his vehicle had been around for five days without moving. Although 25 other vehicles were in the street, only his truck was set on fire.”
Border Center for Journalist and Bloggers
The Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers is a nonprofit organization based in Edinburg, Texas, dedicated to improving quality journalism, promoting safer practices and driving innovation and cooperation across borders.
BCJB also focuses on the creation of a network of journalists on both sides of the border and the promotion of research reports, adoption of digital tools, data mining, and visualization, as well as the production of high-quality multimedia stories.