Press Freedom Fighters Demand Legal Action in Mexico
Not one of these cases has been solved or brought to trial, says Reporters Without Borders Secretary General Robert MÃ©nard, who called the â€˜impunity surrounding the murders of 32 journalists and the disappearance of seven others since 2000â€™ in Mexico a scandal.
He called for the strengthening of the powers of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes Committed Against Journalists, which is headed by Octavio Alberto Orellana Wiarco.
The Special Prosecutor was set up by the administration of former President Vincente Fox in February 2006 and is not permitted to investigate murders related to drug traffickers or organized crime â€“ one of the biggest perpetrators of violence against journalists. Dario Ramirez, head of Article 19â€™s Mexico programme, called the mechanism â€˜completely uselessâ€™ in an interview with MexicoReporter.com.
The letter is following up on commitments reportedly made by Mexican federal government representatives at a July meeting of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
â€œIn line with promises made before the IACHR, the organisation looks to you for a precise account of the progress of the on-going investigations and strong measures to put an end to impunityâ€ writes MÃ©nard.
Both Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists admonished the Mexican government for its failure to investigate the murder of Brad Will and other murdered journalists effectively.
â€œThe lack of progress in the Will case exemplifies the impunity surrounding attacks against the press in Mexico,â€ says Joel Simon, executive director of the CPJ in a letter addressed to President Felipe CalderÃ³n Hinojosa.
â€œThe Mexican criminal judicial system has proved to be overburdened and dysfunctional. We believe this is a national problem whose resolution requires the engagement of the federal government. If the Mexican government is indeed committed to protecting press freedom, stronger judicial proceedings must be put into place.â€
Here’s footage of Lydia Cacho, a Mexican journalist, speaking at a recent Amnesty International conference.[video:bliptv:423720]