Impunity Mexico

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WHEREAS 2016 could turn out to the be Mexico's most dangerous year for journalism in the last 30 years, as a total of 11 journalists have been killed and there is evidence that at least nine of them were killed for reasons related to their work; the only comparable year was 2010, when 14 were killed and four were abducted, but the difference that year was that seven of those cases were apparently unrelated to the victims' work


WHEREAS between April and October alone, which are the months covered by this report, seven journalists were killed: Aurelio Campos, Pedro Tamayo, Salvador Olmos García, Zamira Esther Bautista, Elpidio Ramos Zarate, Manuel Torres and Francisco Pacheco Beltrán


WHEREAS the state of Veracruz continues to be the most dangerous place to work as a journalist in Mexico, due to the number of killings (three this year), disappearances, threats and displacements of journalists (more than 30)


WHEREAS the threats aimed at stopping journalists from reporting stories that are of interest to the public, but which have an adverse effect on the business dealings of criminals or corrupt government officials or business owners, continue to be a reality in one third of Mexico, such as in the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Tabasco, Oaxaca, Guerrero, San Luis Potosí, Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, Morelos and Michoacán


WHEREAS the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), in response to the grave state of freedom of expression in Mexico, has issued three special reports; the CNDH estimates that 251 journalists have been displaced from their home areas to other parts of Mexico or even to other countries as a result of death threats, and that 118 have been killed since 2000, 20 have disappeared since 2005, and 49 attacks on media outlets have been reported since 2006


WHEREAS the state and federal authorities still have not shown the effective will to investigate attacks on journalists, and their inaction leads to impunity, thus giving encouragement for the commission of further crimes against journalists and media outlets, and turning journalism into a high-risk occupation in parts of Mexico


WHEREAS the state authorities, after learning that a journalist has been killed or abducted but before doing any investigative work, attempt to discredit the journalist's professional or personal background to explain why he or she was victimized, a practice that has increased this year


WHEREAS 84 women journalists were assaulted in 2015, and the Internet is being used to threaten, harass (including sexually) and discredit them


WHEREAS the number of cyberattacks documented by the organization Artículo 19 increased in 2015


WHEREAS the special prosecutor's office for crimes against freedom of expression (FEADLE), which is under the federal Office of the Attorney General, has yielded scant positive outcomes in six years, and the Interior Ministry's system for protecting journalists has not been assisting journalists in an effective or timely way


WHEREAS the IAPA is committed to seeing that unpunished crimes are not forgotten and that justice is served


WHEREAS the cases of Héctor Félix Miranda, Víctor Manuel Oropeza, Alfredo Jiménez Mota, Francisco Ortiz Franco and Benjamín Flores González, which have been submitted by the IAPA to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), have also not received the attention they need from the states or the federal government if they are to be solved


WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states: "Freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators. Such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly"


THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES


To ask the Mexican government to take decisive, comprehensive and coordinated action to address cases involving violence against journalists and media outlets, as well as the rulings of the IACHR; that it not allow crimes against journalists to continue expiring under the statute of limitations; and that the system for protecting journalists be provided with the professional and financial resources needed to combat violence and ensure the safety of journalists

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