NEW CASAS GRANDES, Chihuahua.- The September 23, 2009 Norberto Miranda Madrid “El Gallito”, was assassinated inside the Vision facilities in Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua.
That afternoon he he was smoking a cigarette together with his brother, also a journalist, when Armed men arrived at the scene asking directly for him. Norberto identified himself and, immediately afterwards, received multiple gunshot wounds that ended his life.
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At 13 years old, yesu memory is still latent among his family, friends and colleagues. At 13 years old, still it is unknown the crime motive and there is no certainty that there have been detainees.
A transparent and brave man
Norberto was one of the most beloved journalists in Nuevo Casas Grandes and surroundings.
Their traditional phrase “without hairs on the tongue”it characterized from other communicatorsand it was his courage to report the truth that led him to gain the trust of the people, remember his wife and three children, a woman and two men, who prefer to keep their names to themselves for security reasons
In addition to being a journalist, Norberto worked as a lawyerwhich gave him chance of venture into politics first in the Labor Party (PT), with which he ran for municipal president, later he was an active member of the PRD and became president of the party in Casas Grandes and a candidate for deputy.
“People knew him from the local radio, as it lasted many years on the radio, people knew him by that means and by his nickname El Gallito, because my uncle also works as a reporter and they call him El Gallo”, explains his eldest daughter in an interview.
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“There was always transparency in him, people who knew him talk about this that characterized him. He said he didn’t mince words, it was something that characterized him and he liked being that way. He always said ‘I don’t mince words’ and he was critical, he spoke the truth, that’s why he was so well known. He won over people, ”adds his daughter.
Though More than 4 thousand 745 days have passed since the crime, Pain is still reflected on their faces when they remember what happened. The family assures that Norberto had not been threatened and so far they do not know what the motive for the crime would be.
“It’s 13 years, we can remember many very beautiful things that we lived with him. As a father of a family, he was a great father to each of my children; as a husband he was a loved, responsible, hard-working, disciplined person. He loved his house, he loved his family, all those memories fill our hearts, ”says his wife.
One of Norberto’s sons was 11 years old when his father was murdered. “It was an experience in the traumatic sense at first, It was an incredible impact in the sense of saying ‘this happened and your dad is not going to come back’, it’s something that marks you”.
“My dad was a very upright person, a person who is really rarely found in society now. A very neat person at work, inside the house and outside. I may not have had much to do with his work, but I did see the people, the trust he had in El Gallito. He was a self-confident person, who knew what he wanted and where he was going, ”says his son.
The family explains that they do not usually hold events to remember him, since, they assure, it is still a difficult date to assimilate.
“The first years are very hard, probably when it happens anyway, but completely impacted us, changed our lifestyle, our family. Overnight the person who supported the home, who guided it, was not there, it was something that shook our lives and that has changed us forever, and despite the years it is difficult, it has been a way of life different from the that one dreams or plans”, exposes his daughter.
The family still lives in fear of what happened, however, they are encouraged by the memory of El Gallito in each of the people who appreciate him and remember him in Nuevo Casas Grandes.
“I do want to say that I am proud to be Norberto’s daughter. Still, where we are, where we go, who knew him and you introduce yourself, and they say: ‘she is his daughter’, there is something very beautiful that he planted in Nuevo Casas Grandes and in the region, and if it is a pride to be his daughter and that people have known him transparent, as he was. We have harvested the seed that he sowed in a very good way, people love us, they appreciate us for the work he did”, he assures.
The day of the crime
Sandra Lorena Ontiveros was Norberto’s partner in Radio Vision Casas Grandesthe last media outlet in which the journalist worked.
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He recalls that on September 23, 2009, around 7:00 p.m., they were at the radio station with Norberto; she She suggested finishing for the day and left, he decided to stay a few more hours.
A few minutes after I leave, a girl from back here (from Radio Vision) calls me and tells me what happened in here Sandra details.
Account that after the murder of Gallito, the radio station stopped its work for a year, since the lives of those who work at the station took a radical turn. “We stopped for a year. We left here, from the city, to Sonora, we stayed there for a year and then we came back. It was out of fear because what had happened in here had already happened and then we could not risk continuing. We never knew where he came from or who he came for [el asesino]. None of us who work here know why,” says the journalist who has been working for Radio Vision Casas Grandes since 2007.
As for the authorities, he points out that at that time They approached to carry out their investigations, however, they were never notified of any detainee or motive for the crime.
Although the murder occurred inside the facilities of Radio Vision, the journalists who worked in the media, then and now, they have never received any kind of protection from the authorities. When they returned to the same building a year later, they were alone, they have never had support from any authority.
13 years away the work at the radio station continues but in a different way. For security reasons they decided to stop covering certain topics.
Right now we don’t broadcast anything from the police, none of those facts is what we change. We transmit politics and even so they restrict our freedom of expression Sandra explained.
In the experience of communicators from Nuevo Casas Grandes, there are many limitations to carry out the journalistic exerciseas many of them are attacked or prevented from doing their work even on public roads. Given this, local journalists ask the authorities at all levels of government for protection to guarantee the performance of their work and that their partner’s crime does not go unpunished.
“We had to suffer it. That they do not go unpunished, that they give us protection and that they give us more of the right to inform, that they do not restrict our freedom of expression. That they give us journalists more protection, because we have seen how the authorities have forgotten us”says Sandra, who to this day continues her struggle to report in that region of Chihuahua, as she assures someone has to say things.
The defense for freedom of expression is a petition to which Norberto’s family joins.
“We have to change our laws in Mexico, because There is an article that gives freedom of expression, but we all know how freedom of expression is managed and how it is manipulated. When there are people who want and really want to express themselves, what we experience happens”, comments her daughter.
“We should all have the support so that we can use freedom of expression, there is a day to celebrate freedom of expression and to me since we lived this, it seems shameful that Mexico presumes that it has freedom of expression, because the media is manipulated, I think that from the background where they make laws we need a change, we need someone who represents and says we have to assert the voice of Mexicans and, above all, of the media.
The authorities only appeared at the beginning
Regarding the investigations into the murder of Norberto, his family remembers that at the beginning some investigations were carried out in which, The federal government even intervened, but they never had official information about any detainee.
“They were in the house (authorities), they were investigating, many protocols first municipally, then the state, federal government, because they made us feel that they were worried about the situation, then on some occasion our family told us that they had captured our father’s alleged murderers, but legally we never received a notification, they never told us anything ”, point out the relatives.
Later, Time passed and there was no response to anything or information from the authorities.
The MX Media Alliance requested the version of the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) in Chihuahua to know the progress in the investigation of the case, but until the closing of this report there was no response.