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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

2013 was one of the most violent years for Mexican journalists on record, according to new report




Article 19 organized a silent march on Tuesday, March 18 in Mexico City to protest violence against journalists in the country. Photo: Jen Robinson via Twitter.

By Andrew Messamore*

The first year of Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency was the most violent year for Mexican journalists since 2007, according to freedom of the press organization Article 19’s annual report published on Tuesday, March 18.

The report recorded 330 violent aggressions against the press in 2013, a 59 percent increase of documented attacks on Mexican journalists since 2012. The majority of the attacks originated from public officials, helping make 2013 the most violent year for journalists since President Felipe Calderón launched a war on drugs in 2006.

The presentation of the report took place on Tuesday morning after a demonstration by Article 19 members against the silencing of press freedom.

Of the attacks recorded by Article 19, 146 originated from a public official, 49 from a social organization, 39 from organized crime, 30 from an individual and ten from a political party. The report also states 10 percent of attacks occurred at journalist facilities and 85 percent were directed at reporters themselves.

The report also highlighted the threat to journalists in the Mexican state of Veracruz, Mexico City, and the three northern states of Chihuahua, Coahuila and Tamaulipas. In Veracruz alone ten journalists have been killed since 2011, most recently Gregorio Jimenez of Notisur and Liberal del Sur.

Violence has also risen for journalists covering protests in Mexico City. Article 19 documented 34 attacks on journalists in the capital city during 2013, the largest number since 2007, according to newspaper El País.

The report comes just two days after unknown suspects burgled the house Article 19’s regional director, Dario Ramirez, who told news site Animal Politico the assailants were “very specific” in stealing his papers, computers and valuables.

While the burglary has not been directly linked to Ramirez’s work, Article 19 published an online alert calling the matter a “great concern” when considering aggressions faced by Mexican journalists.  The event was the second aggression in a week against a member of an international press freedom advocacy group in Mexico.

Click here to read the full report.

*Andrew Messamore is a student in the class "Journalism in the Americas" at the University of Texas at Austin.



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