Attacks on Mexico journalists surge, says rights group

March 24, 2015

MEXICO CITY – Attacks on journalists in Mexico have surged during President Enrique Peña Nieto’s first two years in power, with assaults reported every 26.7 hours, a press freedom group said Tuesday.

Media workers endured an act of violence every 48.1 hours during the 2006-2012 presidency of Felipe Calderón, according to a report by Article 19.

Since Peña Nieto took office in December 2012, 10 journalists have been murdered, possibly due to their work, while four others have vanished, and the crimes remain unsolved, the London-based organization said.

“Fear, impunity and violence are things that are too common for the press in Mexico,” Article 19 said.

Of the 326 attacks against journalists in 2014, 43 percent involved a physical or material aggression, 16 percent were acts of intimidation, 14 percent were arbitrary detentions and 13 percent were threats.

While organized crime is behind much of the violence, 48 percent of the attacks were orchestrated by public officials, Article 19 said.

The organization said the governmental National Human Rights Commission and a special unit in the attorney general’s office to prosecute crimes against journalists have been inefficient.

Mexico has become one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, with at least 82 media workers killed between 2000 and September 2014, according to Reporters Without Borders.

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