EspañolAttacks against journalists in Mexico and Colombia are on the rise, according to the Inter American Press Association (IAPA). The organization, dedicated to defending freedom of press, also expressed concern about a campaign of intimidation against reporters in Bolivia.
Claudio Paolillo, president of IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, expressed his sympathy for Karla Janeth Silva, a Mexican journalist for El Heraldo, who was physically attacked last Thursday, September 4.
Silva filed a complaint with police and told the media she had no doubt her aggressors had been sent by city officials in Silao, Guanajuato. She said local officials did not appreciate her articles, and that the mayor had previously requested she temper the tone of her news stories and refrain from criticizing him. Silva covered the city’s security issues, as well as the lack of transparency and irregularities in the management of local government funds.
The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemned the attack on Silva. “Mexican authorities [must] take urgent action to establish the motive of the attack, activate all the legal instruments available to punish the perpetrators behind this crime, and take necessary measures to protect the journalist,” read their public statement.
— Noticias MVS (@NoticiasMVS) September 10, 2014
The attack on Silva is not an isolated case. According to Article 19, an organization which specializes in free speech issues, 87 separate cases of aggression against journalists were reported in Mexico between April and June of this year.
Meanwhile, in Colombia, Amalfi Rosales, reporter for El Heraldo in Barranquilla and Al Día correspondent, was forced to abandon her home in Guajira after gunmen fired into it on September 2. Rosales recently reported on the case of former Governor Francisco “Kiko” Gómez, who has been accused of corruption and linked to three homicides.