SPJ Seeks to Stop Violence Against Journalists in Mexico

By: E&P Staff

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has issued letters to both U.S. and Mexican officials to stop the violence against journalists covering the drug trade in Mexico.

The letters were sent to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; the U.S. Undersecretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Arturo Valenzuela; and Mexico’s ambassador to the U.S. Arturo Sarakhan Casamitjana, among others.

The country is now one of the most dangerous places in the world to practice journalism. SPJ said murders, kidnappings and threats against editors and reporters had a chilling affect on daily newspapers, many of which have dropped their coverage of the drug trade.

“The community of professional journalists in Mexico is under siege, and it’s important that U.S. journalism organizations step up and support our colleagues south of the border,” SPJ President Kevin Smith said in a statement. “SPJ stands by its colleagues in Mexico and openly and loudly calls on Mexican authorities to thoroughly and properly investigate crimes against reporters, and by publicizing threats to working journalists.”

Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission said an astounding 59 journalists have been killed on the job since 2000. SPJ noted that this month, two journalists were killed for reporting on drug trafficking.

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