Miami (May 10, 2022) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the outrageous killing of 11 journalists this year in Mexico, which has among its most recent victims two women journalists from Veracruz. The organization reiterated its public call to the international community to demand that the Mexican government "pay immediate attention to this serious and exasperating situation that has plunged Mexican and Latin American journalism into mourning."
According to witnesses, Yessenia Mollinedo Falconi, director of the portal El Veraz, and Sheila Johana García Olivera, camerawoman of the media, were shot yesterday in the parking lot of a convenience store in the Cerro Alto neighborhood of Veracruz. According to local media, both died at a local hospital.
Canahuati, IAPA president and CEO of Grupo Opsa, of Honduras, said, "The killing of journalists in Mexico is outrageous and exceeds the capacity to understand what can be done to guarantee that journalists can do their work without being victims of violence." He considered it "essential" that the international community "pay immediate attention to this serious and exasperating situation that has plunged Mexican and Latin American journalism into mourning."
Carlos Jornet, chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, said, "Although the precise motives for these crimes and another that occurred a few days ago in Sinaloa are unknown, the authorities must take more seriously the killing of journalists, which has repercussions throughout the world."
"We call on the police to exhaust all lines of investigation and on the justice system to punish these crimes severely," said Jornet, editor of the Argentine newspaper La Voz del Interior, "since this is the only way to stop so much violence."
An IAPA international delegation, headed by Canahuati, will travel May 24-26 to Washington, DC, to address, among other issues, violence against Mexican journalists. The IAPA delegation plans meetings with U.S. officials and legislators and a meeting with the secretary-general of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro.
The cases of Yessenia Mollinedo Falconi and Sheila Johana García Olivera join those of other murders this year in Mexico: Luis Enrique Ramirez, in Culiacan, Sinaloa; Lourdes Maldonado and Margarito Martinez, in Tijuana, Baja California; Heber Lopez Cruz, in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca; Juan Carlos Muniz, in Fresnillo, Zacatecas; Jorge Camero Zazueta, in Empalme, Sonora; Roberto Toledo, in Zitacuaro, Michoacan; Jose Luis Gamboa, in Veracruz, Veracruz; and Armando Linares, in Zitacuaro, Michoacan.
The report on Mexico presented in April at the biannual meeting of the IAPA stated: "The main non-governmental organizations in the world agree on the high level of danger for journalists in the country." In resolutions emanating from the same meeting on impunity and murders, aggressions against journalists, and protection mechanisms, Mexico's federal and state governments are asked to take different actions to prevent violence and protect journalists.
The IAPA barometer that measures the performance of institutions in matters of freedom of expression and press, the Chapultepec Index, places Mexico in 16th place out of 22 countries evaluated. The study states, "Violence against journalists exacerbated, this led the perception that there is an unfavorable climate for the exercise of freedom of expression in the country."
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.