Forum will remember 80 journalists killed in Mexico over the past decade

Family members of killed and disappeared journalists and freedom of expression advocates will meet in Mexico City on Dec. 10 to participate in the Journalists Memorial Forum, organized by Reporters Without Borders and the Center for Journalism and Public Ethics (CEPET in Spanish) .

"The authorities' priority is not journalists right now; it's society at large," Leonarda Reyes, founder and director of CEPET, told the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. "We're not looking for special privileges, we're just looking to get the attention of the UN's Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and build awareness that attacks against reporters are attacks on society," she added.

Reyes noted that in some parts of Mexico attacks against the press have dropped, but that this does not mean that there is more freedom of expression in Mexico. "The damage has already been done since the media opt for silence to protect themselves," she explained.

Attacks against the press in Mexico persist, however, like the firebombing of the newspaper El Siglo de Torreón. The newspapers' editors said they don't understand what motivated the attack, since they already follow an editorial policy designed to protect their journalists.

"Since the media has already deferred to self-censorship to protect themselves, it's up to organizations like ours to offer solutions," said Reyes. "We have to be creative and look for the most effective solution."

The forum will take place on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 10 in Plaza San Francisco Zarco near the center of the Mexican capital. It will coincide with the commemoration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Over the past decade, 80 journalists have been killed in Mexico and 14 disappeared, according to Reporters Without Borders. Mexico is the most dangerous country in Latin America to practice journalism. See this Knight Center map of attacks on the press in Mexico.