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

Mexican court sentences four for violence against journalists

Four people have been sentenced to terms ranging from three to nine years in prison by a judge in a northern Mexican state after being found guilty of the assault and robbery of three journalists from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.

Jaime Murrieta Briones, a photographer for “El Diario” newspaper, and Aurelio Suárez Núñez and Eugenia Cícero Rivera, reporters for the “PM” evening newspaper, were fired upon after having photographed individuals presumed to be agents of a government ministry drinking and disturbing the peace on the street, along with other individuals on the 5th of September this year, according to a report issued today from the Centre for Journalism and Public Ethics 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

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 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

‘Mexican Government is main perpetrator of violence against journalists in Mexico’, says human rights expert

Dario Ramirez, head of Article19’s programme in Mexico‘The Mexican Government is one of the main perpetrators of violence against journalists in the country and complicit in its continuance,’ according to one of the country’s leading freedom of expression organisations.

Mexico is reportedly the second most dangerous country to work as a journalist after Iraq. But speaking to last week Dario Ramirez, head of Article19’s programme in Mexico, was keen to dispel what he says is the generally held-belief that the main perpetrators of the violence are networks of organized crime.

“Let’s not fool ourselves and say that the perpetrators of the violence are the groups of organized crime, as the government wants us to believe.

“It suits the [Mexican] government that there is so much aggression against journalists,” said Ramirez. Continue reading