New York, March 13, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the Mexican Senate's approval today of a constitutional amendment that makes attacks on the press a federal offense and calls on authorities to end the widespread impunity for crimes against journalists.
"This is a legislative milestone that has been years in the making," said CPJ executive director Joel Simon. "We congratulate the Mexican Senate and President Calderón on this achievement. At the same time, we note that it is only one step in the fight against impunity, a fight that will not be won until the killers of journalists are tried and sentenced."
The constitutional amendment passed today by Mexico's Senate allows federal authorities to investigate and punish crimes against journalists or persons or installations when the right to information or the right to expression is affected. The legislation establishes accountability at senior levels of the national government, evading the more corrupt and less effective state law enforcement officials. President Felipe Calderón promised a CPJ delegation in 2008 and again in 2010 that he would get the measure implemented. CPJ research shows that more than 40 journalists have been killed or disappeared since Calderón took office in December 2006.