The Mexican authorities have presented a mechanism for protecting journalists to stop the attacks on reporters and the media that, in the last decade, have resulted in 65 killings, in addition to 12 disappearances in the past five years, reported CNN Mexico and La Jornada.
The escalation of violence and drug cartel influence in Mexico means that for foreign correspondents, reporting in Mexico is no different than covering a war, said Tracy Wilkinson, Mexico City bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times. No one can be trusted, and "Baghdad rules" apply, she said. Get in, report, and get out.
Forty-five journalists and representatives from media organizations from 20 countries gathered Sept. 17-18, 2010, in Austin, Texas, for the 8th Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas. The Forum is organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas and the Open Society Foundations' programs for Latin America and the media.
Media directors and journalists say they are skeptical of the the government’s newly announced protective measures against attacks from organized crime, EFE reports.
“Never let fear become an editor,” said Peruvian Gustavo Gorriti at the award ceremony for the Cemex+FNPI New Journalism Prize in Monterrey, Mexico. The reporter, honored for his outstanding track record of investigative coverage, asked his fellow journalists to not let “intimidation undermine your work,” La Jornada and Milenio report.
In a meeting with representatives of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Mexico's President Felipe Calderón vowed to put in place by October a plan to protect journalists, similar to one in Colombia, and to launch legal reforms that would make killings of journalists a federal crime, reported the Associated Press and IAPA.
Almost two years after crossing the border from Mexico, journalist Jorge Luis Aguirre was granted asylum in the United States, reported La Jornada. The editor of the news site LaPolaka.com had gone into exile after receiving threats when he went to the funeral of slain reporter Armando Rodríguez in Ciudad Juárez. At the time, Aguirre was warned that he was next.
Journalist associations and Mexican authorities from Chihuahua, a state along the border with the United States that is one of the most violent zones in the world for journalists because of drug trafficking-related violence, signed on Sept. 6 the first safety protocol for journalists who cover high-risk news, according to Masnoticias and Tiempo.
The outside of the newspaper Noroeste in the city of Mazatlán was attacked at dawn by an organized crime group just hours after threatening calls were made to the publication, reported the agency DPA and Noroeste.
The Mexican press has become a target for drug-related violence, prompting a company to promote its bullet-proof vests as a way of protecting members of the media, according to Clarín and news agencies.