Nine journalists were murdered and four others disappeared in Mexico last year, the National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, said.
A total of 64 complaints were also filed by journalists who were attacked or harassed, the CNDH said.
Sixty-six journalists have been murdered and 12 have disappeared since 2000, the CNDH, Mexico’s equivalent of an ombudsman’s office, said.
Eighteen attacks have been staged against media outlets in the past five years, the rights body said.
A total of 608 complaints about attacks on journalists were filed between 2000 and 2010, with the worst year being 2007, when 84 complaints were filed, the CNDH said.
“The different authorities should take the necessary and forceful actions to guarantee sufficient security ... for media professionals to do their work without being inhibited or threatened by any type of situation,” the CNDH said.
Threats against journalists from public officials and drug traffickers have become common in recent years in Mexico, especially along the northern border with the United States.
The U.N. and Organization of American States rapporteurs for freedom of expression criticized the government in August over the “general impunity” that exists in Mexico regarding killings of journalists and demanded protection for members of the media.
The federal agencies against whom the most complaints were filed were the Attorney General’s Office, the Public Safety Secretariat and the Defense Secretariat, as well as the AG’s offices in Oaxaca and Veracruz states, the CNDH said.
The most dangerous places for journalists since 2000 have been the Federal District, with 64 complaints about rights violations filed, followed by Oaxaca, with 41 complaints; Veracruz, with 29; and Chihuahua, with 28, the rights body said.
Harassment and attacks on journalists are of “special concern” because they violate “the right of the entire population to be fully informed,” the CNDH said.
Mexico has become one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists in the past few years, and the most dangerous country for members of the media in Latin America, non-governmental organizations say.
Authorities have not solved any of the cases of the 12 journalists listed as missing since 2005 in Mexico, the Inter American Press Association, or IAPA, said in a report released in November.