Mexico: Five Journalists Murdered in Six Weeks
In response to the murder of two Mexican journalists, marking five journalist killings in six weeks, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“What we have seen in the past six weeks is a crisis that shows gangs don’t discriminate between large and small media outlets,” said Carlos Ponce, director for Latin America programs. “They are willing to kill anyone who might report or have a negative effect on the public opinion of organized crime. Without a serious, well-funded, and coordinated effort by Mexican authorities to end impunity and investigate killings and threats against journalists and human rights defenders, freedom of expression in Mexico is likely to continue to deteriorate.”
Journalist Maximino Rodriguez Palacios, a crime and politics columnist for the news blog Colectivo Pericú, was the target of a shooting on April 14. In one of his latest columns, Rodriguez argued that a La Paz-based criminal group was losing influence and desperate to attract attention. Rodriguez later received threatening messages from commenters.
Juan Roldán, a journalist, local activist and LGBTI human rights defender in the central state of Tlaxcala, went missing over the weekend of April 15. His body, which showed signs of torture, was found on April 16 in the municipality of Calpulpan. Local groups are calling for authorities to determine whether the act was a hate crime.
These two deaths are the latest in an onslaught of violence that has resulted in the murder of five journalists from around the country. Mexico is the most dangerous country in the Western Hemisphere for journalists.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.