MEXICO CITY – Some 89 percent of the attacks on journalists in Mexico go unpunished because authorities do not investigate the cases, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) said.
Only about 19 percent of cases involving the killings and disappearances of journalists, as well as attacks on media outlets, end up in the hands of a judge, the CNDH said in a statement.
Suspects go to trial in just 11 percent of cases and barely 10 percent of judicial proceedings end with a conviction, “producing an impunity rate of 89 percent,” said the CNDH, Mexico’s equivalent of an ombudsman’s office.
Prosecutors are failing to investigate and gather evidence to clear up crimes against members of the media, “such as murders, disappearances, attacks, injuries, threats and intimidation, among others,” the CNDH said, adding that it made a recommendation in this area in August 2013.
Between Jan. 1, 2010, and Feb. 28, 2014, 347 complaints were received about violations of the human rights of members of the media, the CNDH said.
A total of 88 journalists and other members of the media have been murdered since 2000, “presumably, for reasons related to their work,” the rights body said.
The disappearances of 20 members of the media and 41 attacks on media outlets have also been documented since 2006 in 24 states, the CNDH said.
Authorities must conduct appropriate investigations and exhaust all lines of inquiry to keep attacks against the media from going unpunished, the rights body said.
Press rights groups, such as Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF), consider Mexico one of the most dangerous places in the world for members of the media.