World Press Freedom Day was marred by the deaths of three photojournalists in the Mexican state of Veracruz, providing a sobering reminder of the extreme dangers faced by the media in a country that systematically fails to enforce the rule of law to protect its press.
The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum wrote to Mexican President Felipe Calderón on Friday – their second protest to the president in a week -- to express outrage at the killings, and to call for urgent investigations into the murders.
“We are serious concerned at the horrific levels of violence facing journalists in Mexico and, in particular, in Veracruz State,” said the letter, which called on the president to ensure that investigations into the murders are swiftly carried out and the perpetrators are brought to justice.
At least 43 journalists have been murdered in Mexico since Mr Calderón took office. “In very few cases have the perpetrators been brought to justice and we are appalled at the climate of impunity that protects those who kill and threaten journalists,” the letter said.
Mexico’s bloody recent history continued on Thursday with the discovery of the dismembered remains of Gabriel Huge, Guillermo Luna and Esteban Rodríguez in a canal in the port of Veracruz. A fourth victim – Irasema Becerra, believed to be the girlfriend of Mr Luna -- was also uncovered.
The gruesome discovery comes less than a week after the murder in the same state of journalist Regina Martinez. Eight journalists have been killed in the past 18 months in Veracruz alone.
The full letter can be read here: http://www.wan-ifra.org/node/58090
WAN-IFRA is the global organization for the world’s newspapers and news publishers, with formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The organization groups 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.
WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India, Spain, France and Sweden, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.