Media groups mark World Press Freedom Day with knowledge that a journalist is killed every 5 days in 2012

On Thursday, May 3, Reporters Without Borders marked World Press Freedom Day by condemning the "furious pace of physical attacks" on journalists, noting that in 2012, one journalist is killed every five days. The same day, news also came that two more Mexican journalists were found dead in the state of Veracruz. So far this year, Reporters Without Borders has recorded the killings of 21 journalists and six "netizens" and citizen journalists.

According to the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), 24 Latin American journalists have been killed in Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru during the past 12 months. April alone saw the killings of Mexican crime reporter Regina Martínez and Brazilian political reporter Décio Sá.

As IAPA noted, however, press freedom and freedom of expression are not impacted just by violence against journalists: "We are concerned at the direct and subtle – and in the case of Ecuador not so subtle – economic, legal, and judicial means used against the news media in a number of countries in the region that result in prior restraint and self-censorship, harming not only the news media itself, but most importantly, weakening the public’s right to receive information."

Also in recognition of World Press Freedom Day, Reporters Without Borders released an updated list of its “predators of the freedom to inform.” The list, which now includes 41 predators of freedom of information, lists four in Latin America: Miguel Facussé Barjum of HondurasRaúl Castro of Cuba, the Sinaloa, Gulf and Juárez cartels of Mexico, and the "Black Eagles" of Colombia.

The latest global press freedom rankings from Freedom House, released in conjunction with World Press Freedom Day, show press freedom deteriorated in the Americas during 2011, with Costa Rica and Uruguay the only Latin American countries ranked as "free."

A Voice of America editorial issued a reminder that press freedom is so important because it is the "fourth pillar of democracy." As the editorial said, "A silent press means the end of democracy."