Latin America second most dangerous region for journalists, says Amnesty International report

Reiterating statements by other organizations about the dangers the Latin American press faces, Amnesty International has issued a new report that names Latin America as one of the most dangerous regions in the world for journalists, according to CNN.

Roughly 400 journalists were threatened or attacked during 2010 in the Americas, and at least 13 were killed, the report said. Because of violence associated with drug trafficking and organized crime, Mexico is the most dangerous of the region, with at least 11 journalists there who have been killed since the start of 2010, CNN added. Only Asia reported more killings of journalists in 2010.

The report on freedom of expression in the Americas comes as part of Amnesty International's "State of the World 2011" report on human rights.

Venezuela and the Dominican Republic were criticized for shutting down television stations, as were government crack downs on press freedom in Ecuador and Argentina. The report also condemned the rampant impunity throughout the hemisphere.

"The Americas should be a lesson for what might happen in the future in the Middle East and North Africa," said Javier Zuniga, a special adviser on human rights at Amnesty International, as quoted by CNN, adding that despite the collapse of military regimes in Latin America, "the culture of impunity and repression remained."

The Amnesty International report follows Freedom House's "Freedom of the Press 2011: A Global Survey of Media Independence" report on the state of press freedom that downgraded Mexico and Honduras to "not free."

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.