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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Names of slain Mexican and Colombian journalists added to memorial of Washington, D.C. museum for press freedom




Miroslava Breach (Facebook)

The names of two journalists from Mexico and another from Colombia will be added to the Journalists Memorial at the Washington, D.C.-based Newseum.

The Newseum –an interactive museum committed to press freedom and the First Amendment– re-dedicates the memorial each year “in recognition of the dangers in the profession of journalism and those who have died in pursuit of news and information.”

The rededication ceremony will be live-streamed on June 4 at 10 a.m. EDT.

Mexican journalists Miroslava Breach Velducea and Javier Valdez Cárdenas will be added to the memorial this year.

Javier Valdez (Facebook)

Breach was killed on March 23, 2017 by gunmen who shot several times into her car as she left her home. Her son, who was also in the car, was not physically harmed. She was a correspondent who covered politics and security for La Jornada in Chihuahua and El Diario de Chihuahua, and served as editorial director for Norte in Ciudad Juárez.

Valdez, an award-winning journalist and co-founder of weekly Ríodoce, was killed on May 15, 2017 in Sinaloa. He was forced out of his vehicle and gunned down just blocks from his office. He was an investigative reporter who covered drug trafficking in the region and was a mentor to many local journalists and foreign correspondents who visited the area.

Colombian communications worker, María Efigenia Vásquez Astudillo, died on Oct. 8, 2017 after a confrontation between members of Pueblo Kokonuko and agents of the Mobile Anti-Riot Squadron (Esmad) of the National Police in the department of Cauca. She was a collaborator at indigenous radio station Renacer Kokonuko 90.7 FM.

Efigenia Vásquez Astudillo (Facebook)

The names of a total of 18 journalists, from countries like Syria, Iraq, Russia and South Sudan, will be added to the memorial as a representation of all journalists who died in 2017.

The memorial is two stories tall and holds 2,305 names of reporters, editors, photographers and broadcasters. There is also a gallery with photographs of some of the journalists and kiosks where museum visitors can view information about any journalist in the memorial. You can search the online database here.

And for the fourth year, the covers of newsppaers from around the country that are traditionally displayed outside the Newseum along Pennsylvania Avenue will be black and will only carry the words #WithoutNews. This campaign aims to call attention to the threats faced by press professionals worldwide.



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