Mexico

2010


Reports   |   Afghanistan, Belarus, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Somalia, Thailand, Yemen

As bombings spread, Pakistan deadliest nation

At least 42 journalists are killed in 2010 as two trends emerge. Suicide attacks and violent street protests cause an unusually high proportion of deaths. And online journalists are increasingly prominent among the victims. A CPJ special report

A December suicide attack in Pakistan's Mohmand tribal district claimed the lives of two journalists. (Reuters/Umar Qayyum)

Blog   |   Mexico

Armando Rodríguez's murder: Two years, no justice

Rodríguez (AP)

Two years have passed since the killing of El Diario journalist José Armando Rodríguez Carreón, known to his friends as "El Choco," and no legal process has begun to shed light on the crime committed on November 13, 2008. Faced with the reality of impunity, his widow, Blanca Martínez, asserted that her only hope lies in God. 

November 17, 2010 5:23 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

Gunmen attack newspaper in Acapulco

New York, November 12, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned Wednesday's shooting attack against Mexican newspaper El Sur in the port city of Acapulco, Guerrero state. Unidentified armed men fired at the paper and then stormed into the newsroom and threatened to set it on fire, according to local news reports and CPJ interviews.
November 12, 2010 2:34 PM ET

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Blog   |   Mexico

Alfredo Corchado: 'Trust No One'

On Monday, the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington hosted a panel discussion on the press freedom crisis in Mexico. Carlos Lauría and I spoke about CPJ report "Silence or Death in the Mexican Press" and the results of our meeting in September with President Felipe Calderón. Dolía Estevez described the event in a blog she posted yesterday. I was struck by the remarks made by Dallas Morning News correspondent Alfredo Corchado, one of Mexico's bravest and best reporters. Excerpts from his prepared remarks are below:

November 11, 2010 11:02 AM ET

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Blog   |   Mexico

Mexico no different than Iraq, reporters tell Wilson Center

On Monday, before a large audience of government officials, representatives of NGOs, reporters, and students, CPJ's senior program coordinator for the Americas, Carlos Lauría, said that the level of crime violence, and corruption facing the press in Mexico, where more than 30 journalists have been murdered or have gone missing since Felipe Calderón took office in December of 2006, is destroying the country's journalism and forcing many reporters into self-censorship or exile. "Not only the drug trade and corruption are not being covered, but basic daily sensitive issues are being ignored as well," he said. "Self-censorship is pervasive." 

Blog   |   Mexico

Program to protect reporters raises doubts in Mexico

Journalists in Mexico protest violence against the media. They say they do not trust the government to protect them anymore. (AP/Guillermo Arias)

The Mexican government is currently putting together a program, it says, that will help reduce one of the most brutal problems for journalists: their lack of protection from death threats from drug cartels, government officials, and ordinary criminals. Senior officials at the Ministry of Interior told CPJ that they expect to offer at-risk journalists a range of protective measures, including bodyguards, armored cars and/or stipends to relocate to other parts of the country.

November 9, 2010 3:44 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

Mexican reporter killed in Matamoros crossfire

New York, November 8, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists called today for a thorough investigation into the shooting death of crime reporter Carlos Alberto Guajardo Romero, who was killed on Friday during crossfire between the Mexican army and gunmen in the border city of Matamoros, local news reports said. The shooting was among a series of violent events that took place the same day in Matamoros, and led to the killing of Antonio Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillén, leader of the Gulf drug cartel.

Blog   |   Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Internet, Mexico, Venezuela

Online freedom of expression in Latin America

On his blog, El Oso, David Sasaki has just finished up the third and last part in his series, "Internet Censorship and Freedom of Expression in Latin America." It's a brilliant overview of current political and social pressures on free speech and online reporting in the region.

Some key observations:

  • Direct governmental censorship in Latin America remains largely non-existent. Even occasional "murky," anecdotal evidence is mostly confined to Cuba and perhaps Venezuela. Sasaki does a great job of collating what's been rumored so far. The OpenNet Initiative has said it will shortly publish updated research.

  • Litigation over content is the most widespread threat to free expression online across the region. As CPJ has reported for many years, criminal defamation laws and overbroad judicial decisions affect independent journalism in many Latin American countries. The large numbers of ongoing cases against individual Net users and their hosting services show that this risk has not diminished online.

  • Brazil and Chile are leading the way in attempts to create Internet-era regulation, with broad participation. Other countries could learn a lot from watching how this new body of law develops, despite occasional missteps (or perhaps because of them).

The above will not surprise close watchers of the Latin American Internet, and it certainly fits with CPJ's own observations there. The real meat of this article, though, lies in the examples. From decades old videos of famous censored Argentine satire to a brief glimpse of the world of Mexican botnets (a collection of hijacked computers used remotely by criminals), it's a compelling and informative read. Check out part one, an overview of the idea of Internet regulation; part two, a survey of intermediary liability cases in the region; and part three, which offers a closer look at direct Net censorship in Latin America, as well as brief glances at Net neutrality, privacy and cybercrime.

November 2, 2010 3:12 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Mexico

At PEN, CPJ event, Mexico press crisis examined

The line of people at the stairs leading down to the Great Hall at Cooper Union in lower Manhattan formed early and turned into an audience of 500. They came to hear prominent Mexican and U.S. writers and free expression advocates assess, denounce, and seek solutions to the wave of violence wracking Mexican media.

October 21, 2010 12:50 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Mexico

PEN, CPJ call attention to Mexico press crisis

"Tell them not to kill me!" pleads a man in the opening lines of a fascinating tale of violence with the same title by one of Mexico's most esteemed writers, Juan Rulfo. It is, sadly, the same cry for help that Mexican journalists are sending out to the world today. On Tuesday, October 19, prominent writers and journalists from Mexico and the United States will gather in New York for "State of Emergency: Censorship by Bullet in Mexico," an evening of readings and discussions about the threats facing members of the Mexican press who report on drug-related violence.

October 14, 2010 3:30 PM ET

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Blog   |   Mexico

Mission Journal: Calderón sees a national threat

Journalists protest anti-press violence in Tijuana. (AP/Guillermo Arias)

Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa had a message to deliver and it wasn't about press freedom. After hearing the concerns presented by a joint delegation from CPJ and the Miami-based Inter American Press Association last week, the president wanted us to know something: He didn't go looking for a fight against the drug cartels.

September 26, 2010 5:32 PM ET

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Blog   |   Mexico

Doubt cast on confession in Rodríguez murder

The man who Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa said had confessed to taking part in the murder of reporter Armando Rodríguez Carreón was tortured, the newspaper El Diario in Ciudad Juárez reported today. On Wednesday, Calderón told a delegation from CPJ and the Inter American Press Association about the man's alleged involvement in the killing. Mexico's attorney general, Arturo Chávez Chávez, cast the confession as a breakthrough in the case. 

September 24, 2010 5:03 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

Calderón to support federalization of anti-press crimes

Calderón, seen here at recent Independence Day celebrations, says he is "pained" by anti-press violence in Mexico. (AP/Dario Lopez-Mills)

Mexico City, September 22, 2010--Calling the right to free expression a priority of his government, Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa pledged today to push for legislation that would make attacks on journalists a federal crime. In a lengthy meeting with a delegation from the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Inter American Press Association, the president also said federal authorities will soon implement a program to provide security to at-risk journalists, one modeled after a successful effort in Colombia.

September 22, 2010 5:59 PM ET

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Blog   |   Mexico

Paper will curb coverage to protect reporters' lives in Juárez

Santiago's funeral. (Reuters)
The major daily in the war-wracked Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez, El Diario, surprised media around the globe on Saturday when it published an unusual editorial that openly compromises the paper's coverage in order to preserve its journalists' lives.

Under the headline, "What do you want from us?," the editorial pleads for the cartels to stop killing journalists, and asks them to clarify what journalists are allowed to publish in order to avoid adding to the long list of reporters killed in Mexico in the last decade. In a bold move, the paper addresses the cartels directly, and even recognizes their power in Ciudad Juárez. "You are the de facto authorities in this city, since our legitimate representatives have been unable to prevent our colleagues from being killed," the editorial reads in Spanish.
September 20, 2010 5:22 PM ET

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Reports   |   Mexico

Silence or Death in Mexico's Press

Crime, Violence, and Corruption
Are Destroying the Country's Journalism



The drug traffickers, violent criminals, and corrupt officials who threaten Mexico’s future have killed, terrorized, and co-opted journalists, knowing that controlling the flow of information will further their needs. They have been increasingly successful, and the results have been devastating. A CPJ special report by Carlos Lauría and Mike O'Connor

September 8, 2010 12:20 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

Car bomb explodes outside Televisa in northern Mexico

New York, August 27, 2010--Mexico's main television network reported that a car bomb exploded at its headquarters in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas state early today. There were no injuries, the Televisa network said, but its transmission was knocked out for several hours and there was damage to neighboring buildings.
August 27, 2010 3:53 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

CPJ welcomes arrests in Mexican journalists’ abductions

New York, August 5, 2010—Mexican federal police announced this morning the arrests of three men in connection with the abduction of four journalists taken captive on July 26, according to local press reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists commends the swift capture of the suspects and calls on authorities to bring all those responsible to justice.

August 5, 2010 2:29 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

In Mexico, abducted reporters are free

Cameraman Javier Canales talks about his time in captivity. (AP)

New York, August 2, 2010—All four Mexican journalists abducted by drug traffickers last week are now free, ending an ordeal that drew international attention to pervasive anti-press violence in Mexico. Two reporters were brought to safety by federal police on Saturday, joining two colleagues who had been freed earlier.

August 2, 2010 5:01 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

Four Mexican journalists held hostage in Durango

New York, July 28, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists called on the Mexican government today to do everything in its power to bring four journalists who are being held hostage by an alleged criminal group to safety. The group’s members have demanded press coverage of videos they made in exchange for the reporters’ release, according to international and local news reports.

Alerts   |   Mexico

Mexican reporter abducted and shot dead in Nuevo León

New York, July 13, 2010—Mexican radio reporter Marco Aurelio Martínez Tijerina was abducted on Friday by unidentified gunmen and found shot to death the next day in the city of Montemorelos, state of Nuevo León,  according to local news reports. Mexican authorities must conduct a thorough investigation into this vicious attack and bring those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
July 13, 2010 1:45 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq, Mexico

Balancing risk vs. safety in global news reporting

Wednesday on the show, Nnamdi and his guests will "examine how violence against journalists ends up influencing media coverage."

CPJ’s Joel Simon will be live on Wednesday on “The Kojo Nnamdi Show,” a daily news public radio show in Washington. Joining Simon will be Iraqi journalist Haider Hamza, who has covered the war in Iraq for Reuters and ABC News, and Alfredo Corchado, the Mexico bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News, in a discussion on how violence against journalists ends up influencing media coverage in countries such as the Philippines and Honduras. Listen in at noon in Washington on WAMU 88.5 FM or simultaneously on the show's site. The segment on global threats to journalists will begin at 1:06 p.m. 

Blog   |   El Salvador, Mexico

President Calderón responds to CPJ’s concerns

On June 7, we wrote to Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa about a series of attacks perpetrated against local journalists by federal law enforcement since the beginning of the year. The office of the Mexican president responded on June 16. 

In a letter to CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon, Calderón informed us that our letter was submitted to the attorney general’s office and the Mexican Ministry of Interior so the issue can be addressed as “soon as possible.”

July 1, 2010 5:40 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

Two Mexican journalists slain in war-wracked Guerrero

New York, July 1, 2010—Mexican journalist Juan Francisco Rodríguez Ríos and his wife, journalist María Elvira Hernández Galeana, were shot dead on Monday at the Internet café they owned in the town of Coyuca de Benítez, state of Guerrero, according to international and local news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Mexican authorities to bring those responsible to justice and put an end to the wave of violence against the press in Guerrero.

Reports   |   Ethiopia, Iran, Journalist Assistance, Mexico, Somalia

Journalists in Exile 2010

An exodus from Iran, East Africa

At least 85 journalists fled their home countries in the past year in the face of attacks, threats, and possible imprisonment. High exile rates are seen in Iran and in the East African nations of Somalia and Ethiopia. A CPJ Special Report by María Salazar-Ferro

Iranian photographer Mohammad Kheirkhan, left, documents protests in Tehran. Kheirkhan was forced into exile. (Payam Borazjani)

Blog   |   Mexico

Baja California governor urges support of federalization

Four Mexican journalists have been killed so far this year, at least one in reprisal for his work, and several remain missing after a lethal wave of violence in the border city of Reynosa in late February. Pervasive self-censorship is affecting vast regions of the country as a result of the bloody battle for turf between powerful criminal organizations. It is a crisis of national and international implications that requires a strong and decisive response from the government of President Felipe Calderón.
June 16, 2010 5:35 PM ET

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Blog   |   Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela

CPJ testimony: Press freedom in the Americas

CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon testified today before the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, saying that while democracies are prevalent in Latin America, the press continues to operate with few institutional protections. This statement was submitted into the record on Monday.

Blog   |   China, Equatorial Guinea, Mexico, Syria, Zimbabwe

Cano laureates say no to UNESCO Obiang prize

Cano winner Lydia Cacho signed a letter protesting the prize. (CPJ)Each year, UNESCO honors a courageous international journalist with the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, named in honor of the Colombian editor murdered in 1986 by the Medellín Cartel. The prize is chosen by an independent jury and over the years I've attended several moving ceremonies in which some of the most daring journalists of our generation have been honored. 

Letters   |   Mexico

Federal forces in Mexico increasingly harass journalists

Dear President Calderón: On Freedom of Expression Day today, the Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to express concern about a series of incidents this year in which federal security forces have attacked and harassed local reporters who cover crime and report on law enforcement operations.

Alerts   |   Mexico, USA

Obama and Calderón need to address press crisis in Mexico

New York, May 18, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists urges U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderón to put Mexico’s press freedom crisis on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting in Washington. CPJ also calls on Calderón to continue to advocate for reforms that will strengthen federal accountability in crimes against freedom of expression. 

Alerts   |   Mexico

Mexican journalists missing after convoy ambushed

New York, April 29, 2010—Two journalists accompanying a caravan of human rights activists in a tense and often violent indigenous area of Oaxaca state in southern Mexico were reported missing Tuesday after the convoy came under gunfire and two people were killed, press reports said. The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Mexican authorities to locate the journalists, bring them back to safety, and conduct a thorough investigation into the attack. 

April 29, 2010 5:58 PM ET

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Reports   |   Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Iraq, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka

Ten Journalist Murder Cases to Solve

CPJ challenges authorities in 10 nations
to bring justice and reverse culture of impunity

Protesters in Manila seek justice in the Maguindanao massacre. (Reuters/Romeo Ranoco) New York, April 29, 2010—In the Philippines, political clan members slaughter more than 30 news media workers and dump their bodies in mass graves. In Sri Lanka, a prominent editor who has criticized authorities is so sure of retaliation that he predicts his own murder. In Pakistan, a reporter who embarrassed the government is abducted and slain. In these and hundreds of other journalist killings worldwide, no one has been convicted.

Reports   |   Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Iraq, Lebanon, Mexico, Multimedia, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka

Audio Report: Ten Murder Cases to Solve




In our special report, “Ten Journalist Murder Cases to Solve,” CPJ challenges authorities to solve these news media slayings and reverse the culture of impunity. Here, CPJ's Robert Mahoney explains why each of these cases can be solved if governments demonstrate political will. Listen to the mp3 on the player above, or right click here to download. (2:59)

Read “Getting Away With Murder.”
April 29, 2010 12:00 AM ET

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Reports   |   Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

Getting Away With Murder

CPJ’s 2010 Impunity Index spotlights countries
where journalists are slain and killers go free



New York, April 20, 2010—Deadly, unpunished violence against the press has soared in the Philippines and Somalia, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in its newly updated Impunity Index, a list of countries where journalists are killed regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. Impunity in journalist murders also rose significantly in Russia and Mexico, two countries with long records of entrenched, anti-press violence.

Blog   |   Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Peru

Fighting impunity with solidarity, unity, and a symbol

We will not make significant advances in the battle against crimes against journalists and the impunity surrounding them without the creation of a sense of unity and solidarity among a country’s news media and journalists. Nor will the cause advance without a strategy by international press freedom organizations to provide support for those two values.

Alerts   |   Mexico

Drug-related violence endangers media in Reynosa

New York, March 11, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by a wave of drug-related violence in the Mexican city of Reynosa, near the Texas border, which is endangering the news media and causing widespread self-censorship. In the past two weeks, several journalists have been abducted and one reporter has died in unclear circumstances, according to press reports and CPJ interviews.

March 11, 2010 3:06 PM ET

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Blog   |   Mexico, USA

Only man accused in Brad Will murder goes free

AP

For those following the case of Bradley Roland Will, left, a U.S. activist-journalist killed while reporting on a protest movement in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca in 2006, a long wait ended on February 18. After 16 months in prison, Juan Manuel Martínez, a grassroots activist from an impoverished neighborhood in Oaxaca, left his cell after a federal appeals tribunal exonerated him of murdering Will.

February 24, 2010 3:03 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, USA, Venezuela

In the Americas, Big Brother is watching reporters

Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez appears at a press conference with military leaders to announce the end of unlawful spying. (AP/Fernando Vergara)By Carlos Lauría

The topic being investigated by two Colombian reporters was explosive enough that it required unusual security. Fearful that the subjects would learn prematurely of the story, the reporters took separate notes, which they did not share and which they later destroyed. They didn’t communicate by telephone or e-mail, and they met only in public locations. They relayed only the barest information to their own sources.
February 16, 2010 12:56 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Mexico

Attacks on the Press 2009: Mexico

Top Developments
• Amid threats and attacks, self-censorship becomes more pervasive.
• Congress stalls on reforms to combat violence against the press.

Key Statistic
9: Journalists missing since 2005. Most had covered crime and corruption.


The deepening influence of organized crime and the government’s inability to curb worsening violence left the news media wide open to attack. In the last 10 years alone, CPJ research shows, 32 editors and reporters have been killed, at least 11 in direct reprisal for their work. Nine more journalists have disappeared since 2005. Most of those targeted had covered organized crime, drug trafficking, or government corruption—topics that journalists say they increasingly avoid in fear of reprisal. Reforms that would impose special penalties for attacks on the press and give the federal government broad authority to prosecute crimes against free expression were stalled in Congress.

Blog   |   Mexico

Mexican journalist said things ‘very hard’ just before murder

Over the weekend I spent several hours with two prominent journalists in Chilpancingo, Mexico, wondering who murdered their colleague Jorge Ochoa Martínez on January 29, and hearing about some of the seemingly unbearable pressures on Mexican journalists. Ochoa was shot in the face as he was leaving a birthday party for a local politician in the town of Ayutla de los Libres.

Alerts   |   Mexico

Mexican publisher shot to death in Guerrero

New York, February 1, 2010—Jorge Ochoa Martínez, a Mexican editor and publisher in Guerrero state, died late Friday after being shot in the face, according to local press reports. Mexican authorities must put an end to the cycle of impunity in attacks on the press by ensuring those responsible for Ochoa’s murder are brought to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

February 1, 2010 5:03 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

Missing reporter found dead in Mexico

(Línea Directa Radio)

New York, January 19, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Mexican authorities today to thoroughly investigate the killing of José Luis Romero, a Mexican crime reporter who had been abducted on December 30. Romero, at left, was found dead on Saturday near the city of Los Mochis, in the state of Sinaloa, according to local news reports.

January 19, 2010 2:22 PM ET

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Blog   |   Mexico

Media self-censors after killing of Mexican reporter

Valdés (Zócalo de Saltillo)

Twenty-nine-year-old reporter Valentín Valdés Espinosa was picked up by gunmen in two SUVs from the streets of downtown SaltilloMexico, late at night on January 7. He was tortured, bound by his hands and feet, and dumped at the Motel Marbella, where they shot him dead, according to state investigators, who discovered him early Friday. Another reporter abducted with him was beaten and released.

No reporter in the city has published a story that touches on why their colleague was killed. In fact, Valdés’ newspaper, Zócalo de Saltillo, is going in the other direction. It will stop reporting on anything about organized crime, according to a senior editor who asked to remain anonymous for his own safety. The paper, he said, is not going to investigate the murder of its reporter.

January 14, 2010 11:39 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

Abducted reporter found dead in Mexico

(Zócalo de Saltillo)

New York, January 8, 2010—Mexican reporter Valentín Valdés Espinosa was abducted on Thursday and found shot to death early this morning in the city of Saltillo, Coahuila state, in northern Mexico, according to local news reports. Mexican authorities must conduct a thorough investigation into this vicious attack and bring those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Valdés, at left, who covered local news including crimefor the daily Zócalo de Saltillo, finished work at the paper around 11 p.m. and left the office with two colleagues, according to Editor-in-Chief Sergio Cisneros. While they were in a car in downtown Saltillo, a group of men in two SUVs intercepted them. Valdés and a reporter whose name has not been released were forced into one of the SUVs and driven away, Cisneros said.

January 8, 2010 4:40 PM ET

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Blog   |   Mexico

From deathbed, Mexican journalist makes accusation

In the course of investigating the December 22 murder of newspaper owner José Alberto Velázquez López, CPJ discovered allegations of corruption that often hover over crimes against journalists in Mexico. The first thing I heard was that the authorities in the town where Velázquez worked had ordered his murder. In Mexico, officials are often seen as lethal adversaries of the press. And, sometimes they are. But then a second common feature began to emerge: Rumors that the victim was somehow sleazy, maybe even involved in illegal activities. Yes, the victim was a journalist, but with something to hide. That, also, can be the case in Mexico—as well as complicate the search for the true motive for the crime.

January 5, 2010 5:13 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

Mexican crime reporter, abducted in Sinaloa, still missing

New York, January 4, 2010---The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on state and federal authorities to step up their investigation into the abduction of a veteran police reporter who was seized by masked men in Sinaloa state on Wednesday. The reporter, José Luis Romero, remained missing today.

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