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Mexico: first joint mission by UN and OAS experts on freedom of expression

GENEVA (6 August 2010) – The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, Frank La Rue, will undertake an official visit to Mexico from 9 to 24 August 2010 in what will be a first joint mission with the Organization of American States’ Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, Catalina Botero.

“We will carry out a wide-ranging assessment of the situation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in Mexico, in particular issues related to the protection of journalists,” said Mr. La Rue, noting that no UN independent expert on freedom of expression has officially visited the country to date.

The main purpose of the mission, is to “engage constructively with the Government to identify ways to ensure that all individuals can exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression without fearing for their safety,” he added.

During their sixteen-day visit, the experts will visit Mexico City and the states of Chihuahua, Sinaloa, and Guerrero. They will meet with representatives of the Government, both at Federal and local levels, and with members of the legislature and the judiciary, as well as with non-governmental organizations, journalists, and other organizations and individuals working in areas related to their mandates.

The Special Rapporteur’s findings and recommendations will be reflected in his final report, which will be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2011.

A press conference will be held at 16h00 on 24 August 2010, at Centro de Cultura Casa Lamm (Álvaro Obregón 99, Colonia Roma, Mexico City).

Frank La Rue was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in August 2008 by the United Nations Human Rights Council. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any Government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. For further information on the UN Special Rapporteur’s mandate, please visit: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/opinion/index.htm

Catalina Botero was appointed as Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American (OAS) States in 2008 to monitor OAS member States’ compliance with the American Convention on Human Rights in the area of freedom of expression. For further information on the OAS Special Rapporteur’s mandate, please visit: http://www.cidh.org/Relatoria/index.asp?lID=1

For press inquiries and additional information on the Special Rapporteur’s mission, please contact: Ms. Rosa Gutiérrez, Information and Communications Officer at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in México (Office tel. +52 55 5061 6374 / Mobile: +52 55 2957 9746 / e-mail: rgutierrez@ohchr.org)