Calderón will spend two days in Washington to meet Obama and address a joint meeting of Congress.
A wave of unprecedented violence related to organized crime
has markedly increased the last few years, despite a decision by Calderón to
deploy more than 25,000 troops and federal police to fight drug trafficking. Media
killings and disappearances have made
The effects of violence can be felt on both sides of the
border. Widespread self-censorship as a result of fear is preventing the Mexican
media from reporting the news and
“The level of violence against journalists in
Since Calderón took office in December 2006, 20 journalists
have been killed in
Four journalists have been killed so far in 2010. Victims
include reporter Valentín Valdés
Espinosa, who was found dead on January 8, in
In addition to journalists’ killings, six reporters have gone missing since December 2006. In its special report “The Disappeared,” released in September 2008, CPJ said the tally was nearly unprecedented worldwide. The spike in disappearances may reflect the involvement of local government officials, CPJ reported. Journalists had investigated government corruption and organized crime before they were killed or went missing, according to CPJ research.
In April, CPJ released its annual Impunity
Index, a list of countries in which journalists are killed regularly and
governments fail to solve the crimes.
Prompted by the wave of violence, a CPJ delegation met
with Calderón in June 2008 in
CPJ has vigorously advocated for federal oversight of crimes against the press, saying it would provide Mexican society with a better legal framework for protection of free expression. In response to CPJ’s advocacy, in October 2008, Calderón sent to Congress a proposed constitutional amendment to make a federal offense of any crime related to “violations of society’s fundamental values, national security, human rights, or freedom of expression, or for which their social relevance will transcend the domain of the states.” But these reforms have stalled in Congress.
“Murder and silence are taking a huge toll on the press while undermining Mexican democracy,” said CPJ’s Simon. “Swift actions are needed. President Calderón must uphold his commitment for the protection of freedom of expression by encouraging Congress to pass legislation that will create a system of federal accountability.”