Rising Violence against Journalists in Mexico Spurs Worldwide Condemnation
EspañolInternational alarms are going off in response to the number of journalists who have been killed in Mexico this year.
Because seven journalists have been murdered in Mexico so far in 2017, organizations such as the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) have issued statements urging for change.
IAPA President Matthew Sanders said reporters in Mexico are murdered with “total impunity.”
“For the IAPA it is unacceptable and cruel for these murders to continue with total impunity,” he said. “We have talked a lot about the need to create institutions and tools to protect journalists and to fight against impunity. Journalists are threatened and do not feel protected or able to complain,” Sanders said on Tuesday, May 16 at the Aggression Against Journalists analysis panel that was organized by the Mexican newspaper El Universal.
Sanders also said Mexico is one of the worst countries in the world in terms of protection of journalists, which is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.
Director of the International Center for Journalists Jorge Luis Sierra said the murder of journalists in Mexico does major damage to democracy, which has actually gotten worse, not better.
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Many groups in Washington have incorporated Mexico into their agenda, such as the National Press Club, but there is still much to be done.
The union of journalists in Mexico has reacted swiftly following the death of two journalists in less than 12 hours Monday. One of them, Javier Valdez, was the founder of a weekly specializing in coverage of drug violence, and the second, Jonathan Rodriguez, a young reporter from a Jalisco newspaper.
For the first time in Mexican history, several media outlets, both traditional and alternative, stopped working as a sign of protest.
At least 20 newspapers left their first pages blank, while journalists from Guerrero, Puebla, Morelos, Veracruz, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Chihuahua and Mexico City demonstrated in the streets.
This “wave of indignation” has been called unprecedented, as not even the waves of violence between 2010 and 2011 during the war on drugs drew such a loud outcry as there was this week.
“It was important to do something different from what we normally do” said Daniel Moreno, Director of Animal Politico, one of the online alternative newspapers that suspended work on Tuesday. “We have already experienced too many cases like these. It’s basically the same everyday and we go back to doing the same journalism: we cover the facts, but it doesn’t go beyond that.”
Numbers have not decreased. In the year 2000, 105 journalists were murdered in Mexico. The country is on pace for something similar this year.
“A colleague is murdered every 22 days,” said Ernesto Aroche, Director of the newspaper Lado B in Puebla.
During President Enrique Peña Nieto’s time in office, 32 journalists have been killed, of which 99.7 percent have remained unsolved.