Despite the violence, Mexican authorities stay silent

Despite the murder of three journalists last week, the developing trend of self-censorship amongst the media and the fleeing of one journalist from the country to save his life, both the Mexican Administration and the country’s national Human Rights Commission have remained silent on the issue of press freedom and violence against journalists. Continue reading

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Drug-cartels kill journalists, says CPJ. But what about the Government?

left_cpj_logoDrug-fuelled violence against the press in Mexico is spreading. A report released yesterday by the Committee to Protect Journalists says more journalists are being killed or persecuted whilst covering the drug trade and the powerful Gulf and Sinaloa cartels in the country.

But the research from the NGO fails to address the high levels of violence perpetrated against journalists by Governmental networks that are being reported up by other organisations in Mexico. Continue reading

People Profile: Straight Shooter Dario Ramirez

Dario Ramirez, head of Article19’s programme in MexicoDario Ramirez
Straight Shooter

By Deborah Bonello

Darío Ramírez is no naïve idealist. The 35-year-old head of Article 19’s Mexico chapter – an organization that defends and promotes freedom of expression — has been a human rights activist for more than a decade. He bluntly describes the United Nations as a “slow elephant,” Mexico’s NGO sector as ”unprofessional at times” and the country’s Access to Information Law – the “Ley Federal de Acceso a la Información Pública” – as limited at best. Continue reading

Press Freedom Fighters Demand Legal Action in Mexico

Demands have been sent to the Mexican Government from international press freedom organisations this week calling for more vigorous legal proceedings and investigations into cases of violence against journalists.

Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists both sent letters to government officials this week following the one year anniversary of the death of Indymedia journalist Brad Will at the weekend. Will was shot dead in Oaxaca on October 27th whilst covering the teacher’s strike and violence in Oaxaca and someone has yet to be charged with his murder.

Mexico was reported to be the second most dangerous place to work in the world as a journalist after Iraq last year, according to Reporters Without Borders. Continue reading

English Newspaper Hits Streets of Mexico, Pledging Independence

English Newspaper Hits Streets of Mexico, Pledging IndependenceEnglish language newspaper The News hit the streets of Mexico City today after a five year hiatus.

Its directors have promised a more independent tone this time around. In its prior incarnation The News kept its head under the parapet, preferring to keep its advertisers and powerful readers happy rather than rocking the boat.

Victor Hugo O’Farrill Ávila, owner and chairman of The News, said in the opening pages of today’s edition that the aim of the newspaper is to be ‘constructive and serious’, as his grandfather said some 60 years ago when launching the original form of the title in 1950.

But John Moody, chief executive of the paper, was much more bullish when he spoke to MexicoReporter.com a couple of weeks ago.

“I think that we’re going to be the only newspaper in Mexico that sells its readers and not paper and ink. I’m at the service of my readers and not my advertisers.” Continue reading