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MEXICO
The risk of working as a journalist
Latinamerica Press
2/23/2016
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Four journalists have been killed so far in 2016.

With the murder of journalist Moisés Dagdug Lutzow on Feb. 20 in Villahermosa, capital of the southeastern state of Tabasco, there are now 111 journalists who have been killed in Mexico since 2000, according to the National Commission on Human Rights.

Dagdug Lutzow, journalist and owner of the radio station La Grande de Tabasco and the online channel TVX, was stabbed at his home in downtown Villahermosa. He is the fourth journalist killed so far this year, apparently for working as a journalist.

Marcos Hernández Bautista, news reporter for Noticias. Voz e Imagen de Oaxaca, was shot in the head on Jan. 21 in the town of San Andrés Huaxpaltepec in the southern state of Oaxaca. The next day, reporter Reinel Martínez Cerqueda, a host for the community radio El Manantial, was shot in the city of Santiago Laollaga, also in Oaxaca.

Journalist Anabel Flores Salazar’s body was found on Feb. 9, the next day she was abducted from her home in the town of Orizaba, in the eastern state of Veracruz. Flores Salazar worked as a police news reporter for the daily El Sol de Orizaba.

In a statement, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed special concern over “the situation of violence against journalists in Mexico.” The Office of the Special Rapporteur recalled the authorities “the obligation to exercise due diligence and exhaust logical lines of inquiry is particularly important in cases of violence against journalists, where an investigation that fails to take into account contextual factors such as a journalist’s professional activities will be less likely to succeed.”

Likewise, the statement highlighted “the repeated incidents of violence against journalists and media workers in Mexico, one of the most dangerous places being the State of Veracruz. In 2014, eight journalists were killed in the country for allegedly exercising their freedom of expression and in 2015 another six cases were documented. This is the second murder of a journalist registered in the country this year.”

Impunity is the rule
According to ARTICLE 19, international organization that defends the freedom of expression and information, 23 journalists remain missing since 2003. The report entitled “La desaparición y desparición forzada de quienes ejercen la libertad de expresión en México” (Disappearance and forced disappearance of people exercising the right to freedom of expression in Mexico), released on Feb. 18, “underscores the shortcomings of the State and the lack of will to deal with these serious human rights violations.”

“On average, two journalists were disappeared every year between 2003 and 2015.The highest number of cases was recorded in Tamaulipas, with a total of six. The subsequent greatest number of cases appears in Michoacán and Veracruz, with a total of four,” ARTICLE 19 mentioned. “This report documents a pattern in which, in 96 percent of the journalists disappeared were working on stories related to issues of corruption and security associated with public officials and organized crime prior to their disappearances.”

“To this terrible figure of forced disappearances we must add the 132 journalists, photographers, popular radio hosts and media workers killed in Mexico during the same span of 12 years, according to records from the Commission of Inquiry into Crimes Against Journalists of the Latin American Federation of Journalists (Ciap-FELAP),” said Ciap-FELAP President, Ernesto Carmona, who adds that “the ruthless physical elimination of these professionals usually begins with a forced disappearance or kidnapping.”

For his part, Teodoro Rentería Arróyave, Secretary of Social Development of the Executive Committee of FELAP, reiterated “the appeal to the highest authorities of the country to end this shameful impunity with regard to attacks on reporters, and to comply with precautionary measures to protect them, as ordered by the relevant laws.”

“It appears that journalists have to live in constant mourning,” said Rentería Arróyave. —Latinamerica Press.


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