International press freedom organizations pressure Mexico to protect Veracruz journalists, end impunity

About 25 international organizations that advocate for freedom of expression, as well as more than 50 journalists and news media outlets, many of whom participated in the 10th Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas, signed a petition urging state authorities of Veracruz, as well as the Mexican federal government, to protect the safety of journalists and to solve the nine killings of Veracruz reporters in the last 18 months. The petition was published on Monday, June 18, four days after the killing of reporter Víctor Báez, who was found on Thursday, June 14, in the capital of Veracruz.

"As a consequence of the threats, more than half-a-dozen journalists had to flee -- one such journalist requested asylum from the United States -- owing to the absence of guarantees for the safety of their lives and the exercise of freedom of expression," stated the organization Periodistas a Pie in the petition.

The signing organizations, including the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, said that authorities have not acted in a timely or efficient manner to save the lives of journalists who received death threats. They also said that impunity has allowed for the repetition of such crimes and the defenselessness of victims.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.