UN, OAS investigators call Mexico most dangerous country in Americas for journalists

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

UN: Mexico most dangerous in Americas for press

MEXICO CITY — Mexico is the most dangerous country in the Americas for journalists and the violence against reporters may increase, investigators from the United Nations and the Organization of American States said Tuesday.

U.N. investigator Frank La Rue and Catalina Botero of the OAS said organized crime has become the biggest threat to Mexican journalists, many of whom have had to censor themselves because of fear for their lives.

More than 60 reporters have been killed in Mexico since 2000, according to the government’s National Human Rights Commission, and many more have been harassed and threatened by drug gangs.

La Rue and Botero, who were in Mexico for two weeks to investigate violence aimed at journalists, recommended that Mexican authorities establish a way to protect reporters and prosecute those who attack them.

“Due to the serious situation facing freedom of expression and journalists in the country, it is urgent that the Mexican government adopt a comprehensive policy of prevention, protection and law enforcement,” the investigators said in a preliminary report released Tuesday.

The final report will be presented in 2011.

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