Jun 3, 2011

Collateral Damage - Freedom of Press: The lethal war on Mexico’s journalists

An OpEd from John Ralston Saul, the international president of PEN International.

The lethal war on Mexico’s journalists - The Globe and Mail: "One horrendous byproduct of the war on drugs has been what amounts to systemic state-sanctioned violence against journalists who expose government corruption and its ties to drug traffickers. Given the number killed per year, Mexico is now the world’s most dangerous country in which to be a journalist. In 2010, it tied with Pakistan for this honour. ...

This and a great deal more is laid out in a new report, Corruption, Impunity, Silence: The War on Mexico’s Journalists. This is a joint effort by the University of Toronto faculty of law’s international human-rights program and the Canadian centre of PEN International. It deals with the Mexican government’s deceptive manoeuvres, and its related failure to stand up against repeated assaults on free expression.

Until the governments of Canada and the United States and bodies such as the European Parliament question the façade of reassuring rhetoric, Mexico’s lethal war on journalists will continue. This war, commonly described as a struggle against drug lords, has a great deal more to do with police, military and political links to organized crime, decades of government corruption and institutionalized limitations on freedom of expression."

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