Published On: Mon, Mar 21st, 2016

Attacks on the press rose 21.8 percent in Mexico in 2015

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According to Telesur News, an alarming number of public officials have committed acts of violence towards Mexican journalists.

Attacks on members of the press in Mexico rose by 21.8 percent in 2015, with 397 reported incidents, or one every 22 hours, the Article 19 press rights organization said in a new report.

ARTICLE 19 is a non profit organization that defends the right to freedom of expression and information. This right is guaranteed in international human rights law but can be limited.

Named after Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 works worldwide to combat censorship by promoting freedom  of expression.

Seven members of the Mexican media were murdered in 2015, the group said. Public officials were involved in 41.5 percent of the incidents of violence towards journalists.

The figures show “the seriousness of the situation: violations of the right to freedom of expression and information, as well as attacks on journalists, go hand-in-hand with the absence of a willingness by the state (to take action) and the resulting impunity,” Articulo 19 said in its annual report.

Of the 397 cases registered, public officials were involved in 165, while 78 involved non-governmental individuals; 35 were the work of organized crime groups; 34 involved political parties; and 85 were incidents where the assailant could not be identified.

Photojournalist Ruben Espinosa is seen in Jalapa, in the Mexican state of Veracruz, in this January 20, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Stringer

Photojournalist Ruben Espinosa is seen in Jalapa, in the Mexican state of Veracruz, in this January 20, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Stringer

Seven journalists were murdered in Mexico last year, up from the six killed in 2014 and four slain in 2013, making 2015 the worst year for the press since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office in late 2012.

Among those murdered were photojournalist Ruben Espinosa, who was killed along with four women, including activist Nadia Vera, in Mexico City. Both Vera and Espinosa had reported getting death threats and said they feared for their lives due to their work in the Gulf state of Veracruz, which they fled a few months before.

A total of 55 members of the media were murdered in Mexico from 2009 to 2015, making the country one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, Articulo 19 said.

 

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