IAPA laments the deaths of journalists in Ukraine
Miami (March 16, 2022) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) said, "A new tragedy has struck Mexican journalism," about the murder of journalist Armando Linares, the eighth since January in the country. The organization called on the State of Mexico to address the demands to stop the violence against journalists with responsibility and seriousness.
Armando Linares, director of Monitor Michoacán, became the eighth journalist murdered in Mexico. The crime occurred on March 15 in the city of Zitácuaro, Michoacán state. Armed men entered Linares' home and shot him. He had publicly denounced that the media had been threatened and feared for his life. On January 31, Linares broadcast an emotional video on social media in which he condemned the murder of another journalist of the same media, Roberto Toledo.
In condemning the crime, IAPA President Jorge Canahuati said: "while Russia's invasion of Ukraine is now absorbing the attention on the fallen journalists, we must not forget that in Mexico journalists have been trapped and facing violent attacks for years, without even receiving due attention from their government, which reacts defensively to every complaint."
The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Carlos Jornet, added, "It is high time that the president of Mexico takes action on this matter to respond to multiple demands at the national and international level to create additional strategies for the safety of journalists."
In the 74 days of this year, 2022 almost surpassed the number of journalists murdered in México in 2021, 9 in total. If no measures are taken to contain the violence, and it continues at the pace of these first weeks, the figure would reach 40, reflecting the seriousness of the moment and the urgency for the authorities to take on the issue with the necessary responsibility.
In addition to Armando Linares, Juan Carlos Muñiz, in Fresnillo, Zacatecas; Heber López Vásquez, in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca; Jorge Camero Zazueta, in Empalme, Sonora; Lourdes Maldonado and Margarito Martínez, in Tijuana, Baja California; José Luis Gamboa, in the port of Veracruz, Veracruz, and Roberto Toledo, in Zitácuaro, Michoacán, were murdered in 2022.
Mexico dropped to 16th place out of 22 countries in the Americas evaluated in the Chapultepec Index, the IAPA's barometer for measuring press freedom. The Index concluded, "Violence against journalists exacerbated in Mexico, this led the perception that there is an unfavorable climate for exercising freedom of expression in the country."
Canahuati, of Grupo Opsa, of Honduras, and Jornet, of La Voz del Interior, of Argentina, also lamented the deaths of Brent Renaud, of the United States; Viktor Dudar, Yevhen Sakun, and Oleksandra Kuvshinova, of Ukraine, and Pierre Zakrzewski, of Ireland, as well as the injuries suffered by another 35 journalists during the coverage of the Ukrainian conflict.
IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.