Mexico dangerous for journalists: UN

Mexico is the fifth most dangerous country in the world for journalists with 70 killed since 2000.

Last Updated: Oct 25, 2011, 14:12 PM IST

Mexico City: Mexico is the fifth most
dangerous country in the world for journalists with 70 killed
since 2000, according to a joint assessment released by the
United Nations and the Organization of American States.

The report said that 13 journalists have been killed so
far in 2011 in Mexico. While motives vary in journalists`
killings, one factor is the bloody drug cartel violence in
Mexico.

The UN Human Rights Council`s investigator on freedom of
expression, Frank La Rue, did not specify which four countries
were considered more dangerous, but other press groups have
ranked Mexico third, behind only nations like Pakistan and
Iraq.

The Central American nation of Honduras has seen a spike
in journalist killings.

Mexico`s National Commission on Human Rights also lists
70 journalists killed in Mexico since 2000. In addition, it
says 13 have disappeared.

Other press freedom groups consider the 70 figure high
and differ on the definition of who is a journalist in
Mexico`s homicide figures. For example, the Committee to
Protect Journalists says since 2000 there have 48 journalists
killed and disappeared in Mexico, including three newspaper
distributors.

OAS representative Catalina Botero called on Mexico`s
government to implement a plan to protect journalists.

Mexico`s Assistant Foreign Relations Secretary Felipe de
Jesus Zamora said the government has taken steps to help
protect reporters.

But Roberto Rock, the editorial director Mexico`s El
Universal newspaper, said the protection decree implemented by
the Mexican government in 2010 hasn`t accomplished much.

"This mechanism doesn`t have the necessary guidelines to even
know how it will work," Rock said.

According to official figures, at least 35,000 have been
killed in drug violence in Mexico since late 2006, when
President Felipe Calderon launched his crackdown on organized
crime.

Other sources, including local media, say the number is
closer to 40,000. The federal government has not released an
update of its numbers since December.

PTI