In a follow up to my post on Friday, I thought I'd mention taht, Reporters Without Borders released the report today detailing its latest trip to Mexico. The release coincides with a Reporters Without Borders news conference in Washington at which the speakers will included Emilio Gutiérrez Soto, a Mexican journalist who fled to the United States and is now waiting to be granted refugee status (watch a video about it here).
With a total of 55 deaths of journalists since 2000 that were clearly or probably linked to their work, and eight journalists missing, Mexico is the western hemisphere country where press freedom is most endangered. The creation of a Special Federal Attorney's Office for Combating Violence against the Media in February 2006 has unfortunately changed nothing and has not helped to combat impunity.
The purpose of this Reporters Without Borders visit was to examine the investigations into several recent murders and disappearances of journalists with the aim of gaining insight into the workings of the Mexican criminal justice system and what causes it to malfunction. It was led by secretary-general Jean-François Julliard. The delegation met with journalists, press freedom activists and government officials, including secretary of interior Fernando Francisco Gómez-Mont Urueta, the number two in the federal government.
The report's findings are unfortunately damning for the authorities, both local and federal. The passivity or negligence of the excessive number of entities dedicated to defending press freedom in all branches of the government (executive, legislative and judicial), and their tendency to cancel each other out, are not the only reasons why the Mexican media's ordeal continues.