Mexico is one of the countries where journalists “face the most danger” from criminal organizations, resulting in the murders and disappearances of many members of the media, the president and CEO of the Mexico City daily El Universal, Juan Francisco Ealy, said Monday.
The newspaper executive discussed the situation for journalists in Mexico before the start of the 2nd Ibero-American Scientific Journalism Conference in Aviles, a city in northern Spain.
Mexico has one of the highest crime rates against members of the media, “much higher than in war zones,” Ealy said.
Ealy, who is also chairman of the Committee Against Impunity of the Inter American Press Association, or IAPA, said journalists should be protected while doing their jobs.
“Many journalists no longer want to write about organized crime because of the great danger it poses,” Ealy said.
“If one of them dies while doing their duty or in an attempt on their life,” the responsibility of the rest of the media industry is to find a way to help and continue investigating “what the comrade was doing,” the newspaper executive 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.
Hundreds of journalists and media industry workers took to the streets of Mexico City on Sept. 11 to demand that officials clear up the recent killings of two female reporters and punish those responsible for attacks on journalists.
Journalists have increasingly been targeted in recent years by drug traffickers and other organized crime groups, especially in northern Mexico.
Media members must also contend with long-running abuse at the hands of federal, state and local officials.
Since 2000, more than 70 journalists have been murdered and 13 others have gone missing in Mexico, the National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, Mexico’s equivalent of an ombudsman’s office, said.