Journalism: deadly profession in Mexico

Pictures of murdered Mexican journalists exhibited during a protest after the killing of Javier Valdez in Mexico City, May 16   Pictures of murdered Mexican journalists exhibited during a protest after the killing of Javier Valdez in Mexico City, May 16 REUTERS/Henry Romero

25 May 2017
With at least 104 journalists murdered since 2000, Mexico is still one of the world’s most dangerous places to be a reporter.

On Monday 15 May, unidentified assaulters shot dead the reporter Javier Valdez, a renowned reporter of the drug war in the city of Culiacán, northwest Mexico. On the same day, in the southern city of Autlan, gunmen opened fire wounding Sonia Cordova, an executive at a local weekly magazine, and killing her son, the reporter Jonathan Rodriguez Cordova. These were just the most recent violent acts against journalists perpetrated in Mexico, which is considered one of the world’s deadliest places for the media.

According to Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF), the international organisation that promotes freedom of information, the situation in Mexico is as serious as in Afghanistan and Iraq, two war-torn nations. At least 104 Mexican journalists have been murdered since 2000 and six others have already been killed in the first five months of 2017. Countless others have been threatened, harassed or assaulted.

RSF argue that such brutality is often linked to organised crime or political corruption, as cartel assassins or corrupt public officials use violence to silence journalists who cover difficult subjects.

Prosecution of violence is rare. As reported by the New York Times, the Mexican federal office, created to prosecute crimes against freedom of expression, has convicted suspects in only two cases out of at least 800 episodes of threat, violence or homicide committed against journalists over the last six years. Just after the sixth murder of a reporter since the beginning of 2017r and after  significant citizens’ protests erupted all over the country, the Mexican President Peña Nieto finally announced measures to protect media workers and to combat impunity for crimes against them. The RSF’s representative in Mexico, Balbina Flores, welcomed the statement  given by President Nieto, expecting them to be followed by action.

 

To read more, visit:

https://rsf.org/en/news/after-6th-murder-year-mexicos-president-says-he-will-protect-journalists
https://rsf.org/en/news/2016-round-74-journalists-killed-worldwide
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-violence-journalists-idUSKCN18B2GW
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/29/world/americas/veracruz-mexico-reporters-killed.html?_r=0
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/17/mexico-journalist-murder-javier-valdez-drug-cartels
https://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/38749/en/mexico:-end-impunity-for-attacks-on-the-press-after-six-killed-this-year

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