Photo: Protests have been held demanding protection for Journalists
Amnesty International on Monday severely criticized what it said was the Mexican government’s lack of action to protect journalists in the country, adding that proof of that are the murders of six members of the media in less than a month.
The organization said in a communique that the six recent killings demonstrate “the failure” of Mexican authorities to protect freedom of expression and to defend media employees from threats and violence.
“This new wave of killings of media workers should serve as a wake-up call to the Mexican authorities, who must do more to protect journalists who are at risk for carrying out their work,” Rupert Knox, AI’s Mexico researcher, said.
The most recent killing occurred last Friday, when the mutilated body of 39-year-old crime reporter Marco Antonio Avila Garcia was found on a highway in the northern state of Sonora, one day after he was kidnapped in Ciudad Obregon, where he lived and worked for two newspapers.
Mexican authorities, according to Knox, “rarely identify or bring to justice those responsible for attacks on journalists, creating a climate a fear and vulnerability amongst those still brave enough to continue their work.”
“It is vital that full and impartial investigations are carried out immediately, including making use of new federal investigative powers, into each of these cases, to ensure the killers are brought to justice,” he said.
AI insistently has asked Mexican authorities to begin enforcing the Protection Law for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, which was recently approved by Congress.
Throughout Mexico, 81 media employees have been killed since 2000, according to figures compiled by the independent National Commission on Human Rights.