67 Journalists Murdered Since Mexico Declared Drug War

Since Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon declared the drug war in 2006, more than 55,000 people have died in the bloody battle between cartels and US-backed Mexican troops.  While civilians caught in the crossfire represent an overwhelming majority of victims, journalists face increasing threats.  At a congressional hearing on Tuesday, Mexico’s special prosecutor for crimes against journalists Laura Angelina Borbolla said that 67 journalists have been killed and 14 have disappeared in Mexico since 2006. Still, Borbolla testified that she knew only one case where someone was sentenced.

Similar data backs Borbolla’s statement.  According to New York’s Committee to Protect Journalists, 48 journalists were killed or disappeared from 2006 to 2011, with five more journalists murdered this year.  Mexico’s human rights commission says 81 journalists have been killed since 2000.

While many more journalists are likely threatened than murdered, the Guardian explains that  this data is unknown:

None of the figures reflect incidents of threats and intimidation, either at a personal level or to media outlets. Armed attacks are relatively common in northern Mexico. For example, on 10 July, there were three grenade attacks on newspaper buildings in a single day.

The targeted publications were El Mañana, a daily based in Nuevo Laredo; La Silla, the weekly supplement of El Norte, a daily based in Monterrey; and Linda Vista, another El Norte supplement produced in Guadalupe.

El Norte has sustained three similar attacks in the past two years, and the authorities have never identified those responsible.

Read the full story here.

AlterNet / By Angela Lee

Posted at July 18, 2012, 9:10am