Apr 29, 2014

Mexico Lags in Taking Steps to Protect Journalists, According to Several Reports

April 28, 2014
Justice in Mexico 

According to a recent review by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Mexico ranks in the bottom seven countries worldwide in its efforts to investigate and punish crimes against journalists. With this ranking, Mexico remains in the same position it found itself in 2013 in CPJ’s Global Impunity Index, ranking above only Iraq, Somalia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Afghanistan.

CPJ found that Mexico has 0.132 unsolved murders of journalists per million inhabitants. By comparison, Iraq, at the bottom of the list, had 3.067 unsolved murders per million inhabitants. Afghanistan, ranking 6th, had 0.168, while India (13th) had just 0.006. Colombia and Brazil were the only other Latin American countries included on the list, with Colombia ranking one spot below Mexico, with 0.126 unsolved journalist murders per million inhabitants, and Brazil at the 11th position, with 0.045. CPJ criticized that “justice continued to evade Mexican journalists who face unrelenting violence for reporting on crime and corruption.” The organization reports 16 journalists killed with impunity during the past ten years, with one killed in 2014, though other groups, including Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, CNDH) estimate the number to be much higher. CPJ did recognize Mexico’s efforts last April to create a special federal prosecutor for pursuing crimes against journalists that circumvents what it deems “more corrupt and less effective state law enforcement officials.” Nevertheless, it says, many criticize that the new office has thus far been slow to implement its new authority. The report points out the failed prosecution in the case of Proceso reporter Regina Martínez Pérez, killed in 2012, in which some, including the editorial board of Proceso, believe that the wrong person was convicted for her murder. It also mentions the dismissal of charges last September against one of the men alleged to have gunned down Zeta magazine editor J. Jesús Blancornelas in 1997. These shortcomings, says CPJ, “further fueled concerns that the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto is not up to the task of breaking Mexico’s cycle of impunity and violence.” Read more. 

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