Death of Reporter Sign of Hostile Climate for Mexican Journalists
The shocking murder of yet another reporter in Mexico is an illustration of the critical need for journalist protections in Mexico. Freedom House calls again for immediate government action to prevent further violence against journalists.
Marco Antonio Avila Garcia, was found tortured to death on the side of the road on May 18th after kidnapped the previous day. His body was found on a road in the outskirts of Obregon, Sonora wrapped in a plastic bag, with visible signs of torture. Freedom House is outraged that authorities failed to take any action despite being informed on May 17th about Garcia’s disappearance. Garcia covered police news for newspaper Diario Sonora de la Tarde and El Regional. He was the fifth journalist killed this past month – all five reported on matters relating to police and organized crime.
Although the national ombudsman and the state attorney’s office have opened an investigation into Avila Garcia’s death, journalists in Mexico continue to emphasize that current protections are not enough. Reporters Without Borders ranked Mexico in 2011 as the third deadliest country for journalists to work. Notwithstanding the calls from the international community to the Mexican government to solve the crimes against journalists, there is a persistent impunity rate of 98% of cases unsolved according to the National Commission on Human Rights.
Mexico is ranked Partly Free in the Freedom in the World 2012, Freedom House's survey of political rights and civil liberties, and Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2012.
Freedom in the World 2011: Mexico
Freedom of the Press 2011: Mexico
Freedom on the Net 2011: Mexico
Journalists Need Better Protection in Mexico