Journalists Need Better Protection in Mexico
Freedom House is deeply concerned by the April 28 killing of Mexican journalist, Regina Martinez Pérez, and calls for stronger mechanisms to protect journalists in Mexico.
Pérez, a well-known journalist in the state of Veracruz, was found dead in her home in Xalapa, beaten and strangled. Her belongings were stolen, including her computer and two cellphones. The day after the killing, more than 200 journalists began a campaign on Twitter to demand a speedy investigation into her death.
“As Freedom House commemorates World Press Freedom day, this death is a sad reminder of Mexico’s track-record as one of the deadliest places in the world to be a journalist,” said Viviana Giacaman, director for Latin America programs at Freedom House. “As one of the region's largest democracies, Mexico must face this challenge head on to adequately protect journalists and restore confidence in its rule of law."
A veteran journalist, Martinez had worked for the investigative magazine Proceso for the past 10 years, and was known for writing critical articles about state politics and organized crime. The Veracruz Attorney’s office is investigating Pérez’s death and created a Special Investigation Commission to analyze the case, which includes officials from the federal and state attorney general’s offices, the federal and state ombudsman offices and Jorge Carrasco from Proceso.
“This case should not be added to the almost one hundred unresolved cases of assassinations and disappearances,” noted Freedom House Mexico project director Mariclaire Acosta. “Today more than ever, we need buy-in from all sectors of the government and Mexican society to ensure that the mechanisms and legislation that exist work in practice to effectively protect journalists who are in danger every day in Mexico.”
Mexico has the unfortunate distinction of being one of only four countries in Latin America to be rated “Not Free” in Freedom House’s 2012 press freedom survey. Martinez is one of 76 journalists killed in Mexico since 2000.