State commission created to protect journalists in Veracruz, Mexico

In Veracruz, the Mexican state where nine journalists have been brutally killed in 18 months, state legislators approved the creation of the State Commission for the Care and Protection of Journalists, according to the newspaper El Universal.

The commission, proposed by Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte Ochoa to provide protection for journalists that request it, will consist of an autonomous body made of four journalists, two owners of news media outlets, two representatives of civil organizations, and one academic representative, reported the newspaper Imagen del Golfo.

Also, since June, Mexico has had a federal law that protects journalists.

Due to impunity that prevails in the cases of killed journalists, many of whose bodies presented signs of torture, Veracruz is considered one of the 10 most dangerous places in the world for the press, according to the organization Reporters Without Borders.

Veracruz authorities still have not investigated the crimes against nine journalists, reason for which half-a-dozen journalists have fled the state, and one journalist has requested asylum in the United States.

Veracruz authorities have tried to link the killing of one journalist to organized crime, in another case, they disseminated a version of a passion crime, and only in the most recent crime, state authorities arrested suspects.

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.