Silence or Death in Mexico’s Press

Crime, Violence, and Corruption
Are Destroying the Country’s Journalism

The drug traffickers, violent criminals, and corrupt officials who threaten Mexico’s future have killed, terrorized, and co-opted journalists, knowing that controlling the flow of information will further their needs. They have been increasingly successful, and the results have been devastating. A CPJ special report by Carlos Lauría and Mike O’Connor

Published September 8, 2010                           * Download the full report as a PDF


About this Report

Preface by Joel Simon

1. Summary

2. A Nation in Crisis

More than 30 journalists and media workers have been murdered or have vanished since December 2006. As vast self-censorship takes hold, Mexico’s future as a free and democratic society is at risk.

SIDEBAR: An Era of Promises and Fear

3. Murder in Durango

Crime reporter Bladimir Antuna García knew all the cops and crooks in Durango. When he received death threats, state investigators ignored them. When he was murdered, they ignored that as well.

SIDEBAR: Why I Went Into Exile

4. Cartel City

In Reynosa, the Gulf criminal group controls the government, the police, even the street vendors. But you won’t see that story in the local press. The cartel controls the news media, too.

SIDEBAR: How Colombian Media Met Dangerous Times

5. A Federal Obligation

In its offensive against criminal organizations, the federal government has left a crucial front unaddressed. At-tacks on the constitutional right to free expression must be fought at the national level.

SIDEBAR: In Tijuana, An Unlikely Anniversary

SIDEBAR: What They Said

6. Recommendations

Appendix I: Journalists Murdered

Capsule reports on journalists and media workers murdered during the tenure of President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.

Appendix II: Journalists Missing

Capsule reports on journalists who have gone missing during the tenure of President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.

Appendix III: CPJ Impunity Index

The world’s worst countries in fighting violence against the press.

Video Report

The story of exiled reporter Luis Horacio Nájera (In Spanish with English subtitles)

En Español

Photo: Protesters call for justice in the murder of Acapulco reporter Amado Ramírez Dillanes. (AFP/Cecilia del Olmo)