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With over 20 years of experience as an investigative journalist, Anabel Hernández has been a contributor to various periodicals of national circulation such as: Milenio, Reforma, Proceso, and El Universal.

After the publication in 2010 of the book Los señores del narco (Drug Lords), Hernández and her family have been the victims of multiple assaults, intimidations, and death threats. The journalist's primary sources have indicated that former Secretary of Public Security Genaro García Luna is the potential mastermind behind these attacks. 

The case of Anabel Hernández exemplifies the Mexican government's inability to protect journalists, leaving them in a position of vulnerability and risk. 

For reasons of personal security, the journalist currently lives abroad, where she continues to practice her profession.

 

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Editorial Grijalbo publishes the book  Los señores del narco, by Anabel Hernández.

 

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The weekly magazine Proceso 1 publishes an excerpt from the book Los señores del narco, making the Hernández investigation its cover story.

 


1Founded in 1976 by the Mexican journalist and writer Julio Scherer García, Proceso is a weekly Mexican magazine that explores issues involving political and social analysis of local, national, and international scope.
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A primary source informs the journalist that Genaro García Luna1 and Luis Cárdenas Palomino 2are currently recruiting police officers from the AFI3 to kill her (according to the file opened by the Mechanism of Protection for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists).


1On December 1, 2006, Genaro García Luna was named Secretary of Federal Public Safety by President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa (during whose administration a journalist was attacked every 48.1 hours). From 1998 to late 2000, García Luna acted as General Coordinator of Federal Police Crime Prevention Intelligence, participating in the conceptual design of the project and the executive integration of its areas. In the year 2000, García Luna was named General Director of Planning and Operation of the Federal Judicial Police (PJF), a force that was transformed into the Federal Investigation Agency (AFI) in the year 2001.
2 From 2008 to 2012, Head of the Regional Security Division of the Federal Police of Mexico (appointed the same year he was designated Coordinator of Federal Police Crime Prevention Intelligence) to 2012.
3The Federal Investigation Agency (AFI) was founded by presidential decree on November 2, 2001. In 2009, it was disbanded following the publication in the Official Daily of the Federation of reforms to the Organic Law of the Attorney General of the Republic. However, AFI continued to operate until July 23, 2012, after new regulations pertaining to said Law were published.
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Hernández files a formal complaint (FSP/B/T2/02671/10-12) with the Attorney General's Office of Mexico City (PGJDF) against whoever turns out to be responsible for the plot to kill her, naming Genaro García Luna as the probable intellectual author.

 

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The Attorney General's Office of Mexico City or PGJDF 1assigns bodyguards to the journalist.


1 The PGJDF legally represents the interest of the inhabitants of Mexico City through the implementation of efficient and efficacious actions to Fight Crime and Procure Justice, especially with regards to Human Rights, with the objective of strengthening the trust of local residents through peaceful coexistence.
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A group of armed men assaults Hernández's relatives in a public establishment, aiming weapons at them. The assailants retreat, taking with them the handbags of members of Hernández's family. From this point on, a preliminary investigation is opened at the Attorney General's Office of the State of Mexico, but it never leads anywhere, in light of which Hernández expands her statement in order to provide more evidence for the investigation at the PGJDF (File A.P. 045/FEADLE/2011).

Anabel Hernández's family members would later suffer other acts of intimidation, such as threats against the bodyguards who were assigned to them.

 

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Anabel Hernández files a formal accusation by presenting herself before the Special Attorney's Office dedicated to Crimes against Freedom of Expression, or FEADLE1, naming Genaro García Luna as a probable intellectual author. (45/FEADLE/2011). As background for the preliminary investigation (20/FEADP/2008) precise data were provided to facilitate the investigation, including facial composites.


1FEADLE is the division of the Attorney General of the Republic's Office in charge of investigating and persecuting crimes against freedom of speech.
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Hernández realizes that she is being followed by someone who has a military appearance. Her bodyguards immediately withdraw her from the establishment where she was located at the time. The suspect, presumably armed, escapes when Hernández's bodyguards return in order to arrest him. At this time, Hernández further expands her filed statement at the PGJDF.

 

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Jorge Carpizo1 publicly alludes in Proceso magazine to the existence of an alleged lawsuit for "moral damages" against the journalist. According to Hernández, she never received any official notification in this regard, nor has she been summoned before a judge.


1 Secretary of the Interior from January 10 to November 30, 1994, during the six-year administration of Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988-1994). Carpizo also acted as Attorney General of the Republic from January 4, 1993 to January 10, 1994 and was President of the National Human Rights Commission from June 6, 1990 to January 4, 1993. Moreover, he acted as 38th President of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) from January 2, 1985 to January 2, 1989. He passed away on March 30, 2012.
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Jorge Carpizo is interviewed by Carmen Aristegui during the first broadcast of Noticias MVS regarding the lawsuit against Anabel Hernández for having made "insinuations" against him with regards to the capture of drug trafficker Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.1


1Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, a.k.a. "El Chapo", was the kingpin of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the world. He was captured in late February, 2014 during the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto. "El Chapo" escaped once again on July 12, 2015.
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Hernández joins the Mechanism to Protect Human Rights Defenders and Journalists. On April 26, 2013, the Government Council of said Mechanism orders the installation of security cameras and alarms to protect the journalist. Said equipment is never installed.

 

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The Mechanism informs Hernández that the bodyguards assigned to her in the month of June 2013 will be withdrawn, after which the Federal Police1 will be responsible for her personal safety. After receiving letters from international organizations for the protection of journalists, the Mechanism processes the paperwork required for the journalist to continue to be protected by bodyguards from the PGJDF. 


1 Administrative organism deconcentrated from the National Security Commission. In 2009, during the six-year administration of Felipe Calderón, the Federal Preventive Police Force was rebranded as the Federal Police. Its mission is to prevent and fight crime while upholding the law, in coordination with all three branches of government.
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Hernández is on the verge of publishing an article regarding Federal Police presence in a hangar at the International Airport of Toluca where the Beltrán Leyva Cartel 1carried out drug trafficking operations. She identifies those allegedly involved as officers very close to García Luna, who still forms part of the Federal Police force. 

Two boxes with decapitated animals are left in front of Hernández's house and on neighboring properties. In light of these new attacks, the journalist's situation is discussed in a meeting with Manuel Mondragon y Kalb. Despite which the Mechanism fails to fulfill its order to provide the journalist with the security measures assigned by the Government Council on April 26, 2013.


1 The Beltrán Leyva Cartel was one of Mexico's most emblematic criminal organizations. Originating in Sinaloa, it was led at first by the brothers Alfredo, Carlos, and Héctor Beltrán Leyva. On December 16, 2009, "El Barbas" or "El Jefe de Jefes" Arturo Beltrán Leyva died in a confrontation against marine infantry. Days afterwards, Carlos Beltrán Leyva was arrested. Since then, the Beltrán Leyva Cartel has lost much of its influence and has split into various independent groups. On October 1, 2014, Héctor Beltrán is arrested in the city of Guanajuato.
2 In 2013, Mondragón y Kalb acted as the National Safety Commissioner, having previously served as Secretary of Public Safety in Mexico City (2008-2012). When Marcelo Ebrard was acting as Secretariat of Public Safety in Mexico City (under the administration of Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador), Mondragón y Kalb was appointed Assistant Secretary of Citizen Participation and Crime Prevention of the Secretariat of Public Safety in Mexico City.
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Once again, the PGJDF informs Hernández that at the end of the month, her bodyguards will be withdrawn because the Mechanism has not provided the documentation required to renew their service.

 

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Hernández publishes an open letter titled "I am V146" to protest the negligence of the Mechanism vis-a-vis the security measures corresponding to her case. 

In the letter, she draws a comparison between those who commit crimes as a reprisal for journalistic endeavors and those who fail in their legal obligation to protect human rights defenders and journalists, making them easy targets for violence.

 

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Forbes1 publishes a list of the 10 most corrupt people in Mexico, naming Genardo García Luna as number four. Said article by journalist Dolia Estevez refers to the investigations carried out by Anabel Hernández. 


1The Spanish edition of the US magazine specializing in the world of business and finance.
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Hernández informs District Attorney Laura Borbolla1, of the FEADLE, and Silvia Vázquez2, an official of the Mechanism of Protection, regarding the Forbes magazine article as a possible for future attacks, requesting the implementation of new preventive measures. However, the journalists receives no reply.


1 Acting Special District Attorney for Crimes against Freedom of Speech since 2010.
2 In 2013, a contributor to the Mechanism of Protection for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists who acted as Assistant Director of Outreach to Human Rights Defenders.
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A group of armed men illegally enters Hernández's domicile. They steal only the CPU that contains the recordings from video surveillance equipment installed by the Mechanism of Protection. During the robbery, one of the bodyguards keeping watch over the domicile is deprived of his liberty. 

According to witnesses, the assailants introduced themselves first as members of "Los Zetas", later claiming to be Federal Police officers; moreover, they carried communications equipment characteristic of federal forces. This occurrence was immediately denounced before the FEADLE, which launches an investigation. Likewise, the Mechanism is notified but fails to appear at the journalist's domicile.

Turning to the video surveillance service company, Hernández learns that the system had provided no additional back up for the stolen recordings.

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The PGR finds itself compelled to clarify the incident of breaking and entering into Hernández's home. 

ARTICLE19 issues an alert defining the lack of investigation into previous aggressions against journalist Anabel Hernández as encouragement for fresh attacks. Likewise, it calls upon the FEADLE to quickly and effectively clarify the breaking and entering into Anabel's home. Moreover, ARTICLE19 demands that the Mechanism of Protection take immediate action to safeguard the integrity of Hernández and her family, and to guarantee her ability to safely perform journalistic endeavors.

 

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The General Division of the Mechanism's Evaluation Unit qualifies the risk level experienced by Anabel Hernández as "Low" and proposes that her bodyguards be withdrawn. Given this development, ARTICLE19 publishes a letter arguing that the risk the journalist runs is "High", in an attempt to make the Federal Government aware of the serious danger the journalist faces.

 

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A former Mechanism official contacts Anabel Hernández to inform her that someone allegedly close to García Luna has been put in charge of her file and is, therefore, responsible for drafting her risk analyses for the Mechanism. Despite this having happened several months earlier, no one inside the Mechanism informed the journalist regarding the risk this implied to her physical integrity.

 

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In a new evaluation, the Government Council of the Mechanism determines that the journalist Anabel Hernández faces a situation of "extraordinary" risk as a consequence of her work as a journalist, that is to say, that her physical integrity is in danger. Despite this, the Mechanism fails to restore the measures of protection that were annulled on December 21, 2013.

 

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Given the negligence of the PGR and the Mechanism, the journalist decides to leave the country in order to continue to be able to practice her profession freely and safely. Since then, she has formed part of the team of Investigative Journalism at the University of California in Berkeley1. She currently is conducting a field investigation regarding the disappearance of the 43 students enrolled in the Isidro Burgos Rural Teacher's College that took place on September 26, 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero. 


1Founded in 1868, UC Berkeley is considered to the premier public university in the world, also occupying fourth place in the Academic Ranking of World Universities from 2014. It houses research programs specializing in different disciplines, including journalism.
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To date, the journalist Anabel Hernández has received nothing in the way of truth, justice, or reparations.

 

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2010
2015

Anabel Hernández

With over 20 years of experience as an investigative journalist, Anabel Hernández has been a contributor to various periodicals of national circulation such as: Milenio, Reforma, Proceso, and El Universal.

After the publication in 2010 of the book Los señores del narco (Drug Lords), Hernández and her family have been the victims of multiple assaults, intimidations, and death threats. The journalist's primary sources have indicated that former Secretary of Public Security Genaro García Luna is the potential mastermind behind these attacks. 

The case of Anabel Hernández exemplifies the Mexican government's inability to protect journalists, leaving them in a position of vulnerability and risk. 

For reasons of personal security, the journalist currently lives abroad, where she continues to practice her profession.

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