Mexico deemed dangerous for journalists, study says
As many as 70 reporters killed over the past 11 years
Fueled by violence by the local drug cartels, Mexico has been deemed to be a very dangerous place for journalists. According to a joint assessment released by the United Nations and the Organization of the American States, it is the fifth most dangerous in the world for reporters. There have been 70 killed there since the year 2000 and 13 journalists had been killed so far in 2011 in Mexico.
Frank La Rue, the U.N. Human Rights Council's investigator on freedom of expression didn't list which four other countries were considered more dangerous. Other press groups have ranked Mexico third, behind only nations such as Pakistan and Iraq.
In addition, the Central American nation of Honduras has seen an increase in journalist killings.
Other press freedom groups considered the figure of 70 to be high, and differed on the definition of a journalist in Mexico's homicide figures. The Committee to Protect Journalists maintains that since 2000, 48 journalists were killed and disappeared in Mexico, including three newspaper distributors.
In September, a photographer for the Mexican newspaper El Diario, based in Ciudad Juarez, was killed - the second staff member of the paper killed in two years. His death prompted the editor of the paper to write a plea to traffickers, published on the front page of the paper, asking them to tell him what they could do to avoid any repeats. According to the Christian Science Monitor, Police have been unable or unwilling to investigate journalists' deaths and disappearances because of the influence and power of the drug traffickers.
Catalina Botero, an OAS representative, called on Mexico's government to implement a plan to protect journalists. Felipe de Jesus Zamora, Mexico's assistant foreign relations secretary says that the government had taken steps to help protect reporters.
Roberto Rock, the editorial director Mexico's El Universal newspaper, said the protection decree implemented by the Mexican government in 2010 had not accomplished much. "This mechanism doesn't have the necessary guidelines to even know how it will work," Rock said.
According to official figures, at least 35,000 have been killed in drug violence in Mexico since late 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched his crackdown on organized crime.
Other sources, including local media, said the number was closer to 40,000. The federal government has not released an update of its numbers since December last year.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
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Keywords: Mexico, journalists, drug war, protection
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