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Mexico: Home to One in Three Journalist Murders in Latin America

Mexico City, November 3 (teleSUR-RHC)-- One in every three murders of media and communications workers in Latin America happens in Mexico, making the country one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, according to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.

Since 2010, some 150 journalists have been murdered across Latin America.  A total of 55 of these murders, or about one-third, have been in Mexico, IACHR reported on Monday marking the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

According to IACHR, these journalists have presumably been murdered “for reasons linked to the exercise of freedom of expression, for informing, discussing, and commenting on events and situations taking place in their communities.”
 
In Latin America, one journalist is killed every 14 days. Globally, the murder rate of journalists is one in every five days. 

IACHR Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression Edison Lanza called for an end to impunity in cases of violence against journalists in Mexico and the whole region.

“It’s essential that states fully, effectively, and impartially investigate the murder of journalists and clarify the motives and judicially determine any relation they could have with journalistic activity and freedom of expression,” said Lanza. “Authorities should not rule out the practice of journalism as a motive for the murder of assault before the investigation is complete.”
     
The call for protection and an end to impunity for crimes against journalists comes three months after the high-profile case of the murder journalist Ruben Espinosa alongside four women in the Narvarte area of Mexico City.  Espinosa had fled the state of Veracruz, the most dangerous state in Mexico for journalists, before he was killed.  Many activist believed Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte was directly implicated in the murder case. 

Elsewhere in the region, violence against journalists is also a grave issue.  Of the total of 150 murders of journalists in the region documented by IACHR, 28 cases were reported in Honduras, 25 in Brazil, and 11 in Colombia.

On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, General Secretary of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro also called condemned violence against journalists as “the most extreme form of censorship that exists” and stressed the importance of critical voices to report on matters of public interest.

According to the IACHR report, the presence of organized crime groups can intensify violence against journalists, and many of these groups are reported to carry out violence in collusion with state forces. 
Edited by Ivan Martínez
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