By: Press Release | WAN-IFRA
The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum have called for a thorough investigation into the slaying of Mexican journalist Miguel Ángel López and his family, and have protested to President Felipe Calderón against the culture of impunity that surrounds the murder of journalists in the country.
“At least 30 journalists have been murdered, and many more have disappeared” since President Calderón took office in December 2006, the global press organisations said in a letter to the head of state, calling on him to “do everything in your power to end attacks on journalists.”
López, who wrote a column in the Veracruz-based Notiver daily newspaper that frequently covered issues related to security and politics, was shot dead on 20 June, along with his wife and son, by a group of armed men who entered his home.
“We call on you to take all necessary steps to ensure that those who murdered Mr López and his family are quickly brought to justice, and that the climate of impunity is ended,” WAN-IFRA and the WEF said in the letter, which was also sent to Veracuz Governor Javier Duarte, Attorney General Morales Ibáñez and Special Prosecutor Gustavo Salas Chávez.
Since 2007, the government’s war against drug-trafficking cartels has plunged Mexico into unprecedented levels of violence, making it the most dangerous country for journalists in the Western Hemisphere. As a result, prevailing self-censorship and massive news blackouts have become common in various regions.
“It is the duty of the state to provide an environment in which journalists are able to carry out their professional duties without fear of violence,” the letter said. “The threat of violence has created a climate of fear among journalists that promotes self-censorship.”
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.