Mexico City: More than 1,000 Mexican
journalists have marched through the city centre to protest
the killing and disappearance of their colleagues as
escalating drug violence increasingly targets reporters.
Carrying signs reading "Not one more!", they demanded
protection to do their work in an unprecedented effort to
solidify the ranks of a traditionally divided and competitive
"We`re a little late - 64 killings late - but we`ve
finally decided to practise our right to protest, to seek
justice for our colleagues who have died or disappeared and to
end the impunity for crimes against journalists," said Elia
Baltazar, protest organiser and co-editor of the Mexican
International media groups call Mexico one of the most
dangerous countries for practising journalism.
Similar demonstrations were planned in states hardest
hit by drug violence, including Sinaloa, home to a powerful
cartel of the same name, and Chihuahua, home to Ciudad Juarez,
Mexico`s most violent city.
Participants hoped to open talks with Mexican
authorities on security protocols for journalists, some of
whom have stopped reporting on drug violence in fear of their
"We should think about how we can guarantee the
delivery of information to the public," Baltazar said. "We`re
very concerned about the pattern of silence."
More than 60 journalists have died as a result of
their work since 2000, according to the National Human Rights
Commission, and many others suffer harassment and threats from
The killings have increased this year, though
organisations report different numbers. The human rights
commission says seven journalists have been slain so far this
year, while Reporters Without Borders puts the number at 10.
Local journalists in Mexico have long been under siege
from drug traffickers. But the recent kidnapping of four
journalists, three of them with national television networks,
signalled a new level of attacks on reporters. Two were let go
by their captors and police rescued the other two.