Article 19, an international NGO committed to protecting freedom of expression and information, reported that seven journalists were murdered in Mexico, along with two disappearances and eight violent attacks on the media. The report, titled “Double murder: press between violence and impunity” identifies all attacks suffered last year by journalists including threats, destruction of property, forced displacement, extortion, and kidnapping.
“It is the face of impunity which leaves journalists increasingly vulnerable,” says Diego Osorno, editor of Gatopardo in Mexico and member of Article 19.
Contributor writer to the report Dario Ramirez says, “"We must reverse the silence and ensure the free flow of information." Following the release of the report, Mexico’s chapter of Article 19 released a hashtag “Impunity Kills” on their Twitter.
Five of the seven murders were committed in the state of Veracruz, which since 2011 has been the state hardest hit by the violence of drug cartels and military offensives.
According to the NGO, 31 journalists were forced to leave their place of residence during the past two years in the face of threats of organized crime. However, state officials were allegedly responsible for nearly 44 percent of attacks against freedom of expression in 2012. The perception that not only criminal organizations are involved in the violence is one of the major concerns of the NGO.