Mexico still deadliest country in the Americas for journalists, says RWB

rwbMexico remains the deadliest country in the Americas for journalists with two murders in less than a month, and three disappearances, according to today’s annual report from Reporters Without Borders. Three journalists were murdered last year, and three media workers were shot dead.

Those levels are an improvement on 2006, when nine journalists were killed, but 2008 is looking grim if the stats are to be believed. As many journalists were killed last week than in the whole of last year. Continue reading

President Calderon: Cacho Case ‘Not a Political Compromise’

calderonPresident Felipe Calderon said yesterday in a speech marking the end of his first year in office that the exoneration of Puebla Governor Mario Marin in last week’s Supreme Court ruling was ‘not a political trade-off’, according to reports today.

Speaking at a press conference last night in which he summarized his first year in office, Calderon’s comments were in response to media speculation that Marin got off easy in the case filed by Lydia Cacho as part of a deal between Calderon’s National Action Party (PAN) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which was the ruling part in Mexico until Calderon’s predecessor Fox took office in 2000.

Various columnists and pundits in the Mexican press have alleged that by placating the PRI, the president would have found it easier to push through some key reforms, but Calderon denied that the SupremerCourt decision was a politically motivated move.

But although Calderon has drawn fairly good reviews from the press following the end of the first year of his tenure as President, but this recent ruling suggests that despite his crackdown on organized crime, impunity is still stronger than justice in Mexico.

Supreme Court Decides Cacho’s Rights Not Violated Enough

A screen shot from the film The fight for press freedom in Mexico was dealt a serious blow this week after the country’s Supreme Court found that the rights of journalist Lydia Cacho were not violated enough by the state governor of Puebla, Mario Marin, for action to be taken against him.

The Court rejected a report by its own Commission on Tuesday that found that Marin and 29 of his officials had conspired to violate Cacho’s rights. Its ten judges voted 6-4 yesterday that although there was evidence of criminal acts, and some rights violations did take place, they did not meet the ‘standards necessary’ for the court to recommend action to be taken.

The decision has infuriated the journalistic community and human rights groupsin Mexico, who after Tuesday’s recommendations from the Commission were optimistic that Marin would be taken to task for his role in the mistreatment and harassment of Cacho.

On hearing the outcome of the case, Cacho said: “The court’s decision is a defeat for Mexican journalists who inform the public and investigate cases linked to human-trafficking. Continue reading