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45 journalists killed in Mexico since 2000; rights body appeals for end to impunity

November 24, 2008 |  8:31 am

Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (CNDH is its Spanish acronym) appealed to authorities over the weekend to investigate thoroughly the recent killings of a number of journalists here, and to put an end to the impunity for those who kill members of the profession.

Since 2000, 45 journalists have been killed in Mexico, according to the latest missive on the issue from the human rights panel. Those who cover organized crime are especially at risk.

The appeal from the CNDH follows the recent slayings of Miguel Angel Villagomez Valle, editor of the newspaper La Noticia, in Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan state; David Garcia Monroy, columnist from El Diario, in Chihuahua; and reporter Jose Armando Rodriguez Carreon, also of El Diario, in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua state.

The largest number of killings of journalists has been in Tamaulipas, where nine cases have been  recorded since 2000. Six journalists were slain in Chihuahua, and four in each of the following states: Veracruz, Oaxaca and Michoacan.

The CNDH also refers to the attack on the offices of the Culiacan newspaper El Debate this month, which it said was an attack on the fundamental rights of the newspaper's workers. Two grenades were thrown at the offices in the early-morning hours of Nov. 17. No one was hurt.

Toward the end of last week, the global nonprofit Reporters Without Borders issued a statement appealing to the international community, and especially the United States and Canada, to grant asylum to journalists fleeing Mexico.

Violence against journalists in Mexico has become increasingly intense over the last few years. In 2007, Reporters Without Borders said in its annual report that the country in 2006 was second only to Iraq in dangers for journalists.

Today, the CNDH said that it "deplores...the lack of results from investigations to identify and apprehend those responsible." 

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

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