After killing of reporter, Mexican Congress passes law to protect journalists, but free speech groups remain skeptical

After the recent killing of Mexican journalist Regina Martínez, from the news-magazine Proceso, the Mexican House unanimously approved the Law for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists on Monday, April 30, reported CNN México. The bill mandates that Mexican authorities provide protection for threatened journalists and was already approved last week by the Senate. Now all that is left is for the president of Mexico to put the law into effect.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights celebrated the new law, reported Radio Fórmula; but the freedom of expression organization Article 19 said the law was made in reaction to the violence in Mexico, and that it will duplicate already existing strategies, rather than combat impunity.

"Every time a killing of a Mexican journalist is recorded, a politician or public official will make up something new, instead of doing their job by capturing those responsible and taking them to trial," said the news site Al Margen.

Although the investigation hasn't uncovered the motives nor those responsible for the crime, journalist organizations suspect the killing of journalist Regina Martínez was related to her writing about organized crime, reported the newspaper El Economista. “On the eve of her murder, she broke the news that nine police officers had been arrested on suspicion of colluding with drug traffickers. Investigators should therefore give priority to the possibility that her murder was linked to her work," said the organization Reporters Without Borders.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, based in New York, said that a week before the killing, the journalist published several stories about organized crime related to the arrest of an alleged Zetas leader, of nine police officers, and of a local mayor that was accompanied by alleged cartel gunmen.