The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned a shooting attack that killed two indigenous community radio presenters and said that violence against journalists is increasing at alarming rates.
“Mexico has been one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in recent years and we have seen the number of murders there go up even as the killings of media staff in other Latin American countries go down,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “The Mexican government must make protection of journalists a top priority and authorities might investigate these cases and bring the killers to justice.”
Three other journalists have been killed in Mexico already this year. In 2006, 10 media workers were killed there and 6 were killed there in 2007. Many other journalists have been victims of violent attacks and kidnappings.
According to reports, police are investigating the killings on Monday of Felicitas Martinez, 20, and Teresa Bautista, 24, two Indian activists who worked for a community radio station in southern Mexico. Gunmen shot at a vehicle carrying the two women. Three others travelling with them, including a child, were wounded. Martinez and Bautista worked for a community radio station called "The Voice that Breaks the Silence" in the Trique Indian town of San Juan Copala in Oaxaca state.
Attacks on journalists have increased in recent years in the face of rising intercommunity violence as a result of conflict between local indigenous groups and the authorities. Community radio stations have been specifically targeted in some attacks.
For more information contact the IFJ at + 32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide