MEXICO CITY May 2 Three successive Mexican
presidents have failed to halt a cycle of violence against
journalists and impunity for their killers that is stifling
freedom of expression, a watchdog group said on Tuesday.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged President
Enrique Pena Nieto to prioritize protection for the media in the
last year of his government, after at least 21 journalists were
slain in the past decade with "complete impunity."
"The pursuit of justice has failed categorically," CPJ said
in a report on Mexico. "The system seems to be corrupt down to
its very foundation; either that or it's simply incapable of
Mexico, where battles among rival drug cartels have left
tens of thousands dead in recent years, has the sixth worst
record in the world for resolving the murders of journalists,
according to the CPJ.
Despite promises of action by Pena Nieto and his
predecessors Felipe Calderon and Vicente Fox, Mexico's impunity
rating has more than doubled since 2008, it added.
The CPJ's impunity index is based on unsolved journalist
murders as a percentage of a country's population.
The drug-ravaged state of Veracruz is now the deadliest
region for the media in the Western hemisphere, the CPJ said.
CPJ said at least six journalists were murdered in
retaliation for their work in Veracruz and three more went
missing during the 2010 to 2016 administration of former
governor Javier Duarte, recently detained in Guatemala over
corruption allegations he denies.
The group said it was investigating at least 11 more cases
in the state to determine if journalists were murdered over
A special prosecutor's office tasked with crimes against
freedom of expression has failed to produce convictions needed
to deter future attacks, CPJ said.
The impunity fosters self-censorship among journalists and
corruption among public officials, CJP said.
"At a time when transparency and accountability have become
a priority globally, the fact that this country has lagged
behind has allowed the spread of untouchable governors, wealthy
police officers who bury the truth, and mercenaries at the
service of the drug trade that buys protection," CJP said.
(Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)