Mexican officer’s murder reinforces impunity

In June, CPJ traveled to Ciudad Juárez to report on the extraordinary challenges that Mexican reporters face in covering the drug trade. As CPJ’s Mike O’Connor noted in his report, self-censorship is rife and many critical stories are uncovered. The primary reason is impunity: Those who kill or threaten journalists know there is almost no chance they will be punished. Developments last week have reinforced the point.

Police in Ciudad Juárez had been probing the November 2008 murder of one of city’s best known crime reporters, Armando Rodríguez of the local daily El Diario. Investigators believed Rodriguez had been gunned down by drug traffickers angered by his coverage.

Last week, the police official assigned to investigate the Rodríguez murder was himself slain, according to news reports. The motive was not clear, and no connection to the Rodríguez investigation was immediately established

Nevertheless, the killing sends a clear message about the cost of challenging impunity in this dangerous border city  Until the Mexican government finds a way to stand up to the killers, journalists will continue to censor themselves.