More than 80 journalists have disappeared or been killed in Mexico since 2000

A total of 68 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000, while another 13 remain missing, says a new report by Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), El Universal reports.

In addition, the CNDH report catalogs 21 attacks on media facilities and says that since 2005, the organization has received 473 general grievance complaints from journalists and human rights defenders.

Coinciding with celebrations for the May 3 World Press Freedom Day, the commission called on the authorities to act “in the defense and protection of those who exercise freedom of the press and expression” and to solve the cases of violence against journalists, La Jornada explains.

The majority of journalist killings took place in the central state of Michoacán, home of the La Familia cartel, and in the northern states bordering the United States, the world’s biggest market for drugs, said Gustavo Salas Chávez, the Special Prosecutor for Crimes against Freedom of Expression, Quadratín reports. Salas says the majority of these crimes are tied to drug trafficking.

However, the prosecutor said the main obstacles to investigating crimes against journalists is state authorities’ lack of collaboration and transparency, as well as reticence from the victims’ families due to distrust of the authorities.

A recent Freedom House report downgraded Mexico’s press freedom score to “not free,” largely due to the specter of violence from criminal groups.

Other Related Headlines:
» Knight Center (Organized crime represents media's leading predator, says new Reporters Without Borders report)
» Knight Center (2010 Report: Drug gangs and gov’t forces responsible for growth in violence against press in Mexico)
» Knight Center (Mexican media set guidelines for covering drug war)

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.