01 February 2010
IAPA calls for strong action to combat violence in Mexico
In a declaration on the third murder of a journalist this year in Mexico, the IAPA today called on authorities to take tough measures and targeted actions to combat violence against journalists and protect the right to freedom of expression.
New mission to visit federal, state officials next week In a declaration on the third murder of a journalist this year in Mexico, the IAPA today called on authorities to take tough measures and targeted actions to combat violence against journalists and protect the right to freedom of expression. The IAPA was reacting to news of the murder of Jorge Ochoa Martínez, publisher of the weekly newspapers El Oportuno and Despertar de la Costa Chica, on Friday (January 29) shortly after 11:00 p.m. in Ayutía de los Libres, Guerrero state. Ochoa Martínez body was found inside his car with a gunshot to the head, according to state officials investigating the incident. IAPA President Alejandro Aguirre expressed the organizations frustration at the wave of violence unnerving the Mexican press and urged the authorities in that country to concentrate on this violence and take strong steps to combat it. Aguirre, managing editor of the Miami, Florida, Spanish-language newspaper Diario Las Américas, added, the authorities need to reverse this dangerous trend against freedom of expression and democracy by adopting appropriate legal measures and providing essential resources so that journalists are protected. Aguirre said that an international IAPA delegation will visit Mexico next week. Its objective is to repeat to President Felipe Calderón and state officials the need for legal, judicial and administrative reforms that enable coordinated efforts at the national level to combat violence and impunity, as well as security measures and protective actions to strengthen freedom of the press. The IAPA has sent 19 international delegations to Mexico in the past 15 years to raise press freedom and impunity issues with federal and state officials. They have met twice with President Calderón, four times with former president Vicente Fox and twice with former president Ernesto Zedillo. In the same period, 1995-2009, the IAPA held six national and international conferences on violence, organized crime and the press in Tijuana, Hermosillo, Nuevo Laredo, Guadalajara and twice in Mexico City. The organization has also held eight seminars to train Mexican reporters to deal with dangerous situations and given many scholarships for courses and workshops in other countries. In addition to Ochoa Martínez another two journalists were murdered in January Valentín Valdés Espinosa, killed in Coahuila on January 8, and José Luis Romero, whose body was found on January 16 following his disappearance on December 30. The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. The IAPAs Impunity Project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and has the mission of combating violence against journalists and reducing the impunity surrounding the majority of such crimes. http://www.sipiapa.org http://www/impunidad.com