MEXICO CITY – Local and international media organizations said in a joint statement on Wednesday that reporters in Mexico were the target of widespread intimidation and violence and demanded that authorities do more to ensure their safety.
The joint statement, titled “Basta ya” (Enough Already), was signed by newspapers such as Mexico’s El Universal and La Jornada, news agencies, television and radio stations and press advocacy groups and was published Wednesday by media outlets in multiple countries.
The statement, released nine days after the murder of Javier Valdez, the seventh journalist to be killed this year in Mexico, said it was essential to freedom of expression and the exercise of the journalism profession that “ideas not be the target of any inquisition.”
The media outlets also lamented pervasive impunity and corruption in Mexico and said violence by criminal organizations was putting a fundamental societal task at risk.
“For the right to information to be guaranteed by the state is another principle of freedom of expression in our country that we demand, today more than ever,” the statement said.
The media organizations particularly denounced the “murderous offensive” suffered by journalists who perform the task of investigating and reporting on organized crime.
Valdez, 50, was an award-winning reporter and founder of a weekly that covered the Mexican drug war in the western state of Sinaloa, which is home to the like-named drug gang once headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman.
He was gunned down on May 15, the same day a reporter with a weekly in the western state of Jalisco, Jonathan Rodriguez, was murdered.
A total of 126 members of the media have been killed since 2000 in Mexico, one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists to work.