The last several months in Italy have seen a few disquieting attacks against independent media and an investigative reporter. In one case, the widely distributed independent newspaper La Stampa received an explosive device in the mail. The Federazione Anarchica Informale/Fronte Rivoluzionario, an anarchist organization, claimed responsibility and ominously noted that La Stampa was just one of many newspapers that could be a target of the group's war against the state. CPJ research shows that the state of press freedom in Italy is among the most volatile in Western Europe, with violence and legal action sometimes perpetrated by criminal groups or political actors.
Twenty-one people have been arrested for a wave of crimes that included 11 murders (six of which were committed against police officers), the abduction for hours of five employees of El Siglo de Torreón newspaper, the murder of a mayoral candidate, and attempted murder of a current mayor in a large metropolitan area in central Mexico, according a senior federal official.
Bogotá, Colombia, July 3, 2012--Ecuadoran photographer Byron Baldeón was shot dead Sunday in front of his home in El Triunfo, about 60 kilometers (100 miles) north of the city of Guayaquil. The photographer had become a witness in a criminal case involving alleged police corruption, according to news reports.
A week before Sunday's crucial presidential elections in Mexico, CPJ participated on a panel with filmmaker Bernardo Ruíz and Mexican journalist Sergio Haro about the perilous conditions for journalists in that country, where CPJ research shows 48 journalists have been murdered or disappeared since outgoing President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006.
Mexico City, June 14, 2012--The body of Mexican journalist Víctor Manuel Báez Chino was found today in Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz state. He is the fourth journalist to be killed in Veracruz in the past two months.
Báez's body was recovered this morning near the main square in Xalapa, according to news reports. In a televised press conference, the state spokeswoman, Gina Domínguez, said officials received reports that three armed men abducted Báez Wednesday night at 11:30. Báez was the editor of the crime section for the state digital edition of the national newspaper Milenio and an editor of the website Reporteros Policiacos, which also covers crime, according to Milenio.
They would tell you that the killers haven't let them cover real news for several years--if you call news serious information that's important to the public, like why the police didn't investigate so many murders or kidnappings or extortions. Or why drugs were sold so openly. Or that three former governors are being investigated for laundering money for the organized crime cartel that runs much of the state of Tamaulipas.
New York, April 24, 2012--Brazilian political journalist and blogger Décio Sá was shot and killed Monday night in the city of Sao Luis in northeastern Brazil, according to news reports. The journalist was sitting in a bar waiting for a friend when an unidentified man entered, walked to the bathroom, and shot Sá six times before fleeing the scene with a motorcyclist who was waiting outside.
Sá, 42, wrote about politics for 17 years for the local newspaper O Estado do Maranhão and on his personal blog, Blog do Décio, which was one of the most widely read in the state, press reports said. Sá's blog was known for critical reporting on politicians and corruption, according to Cezar Scanssette, a journalist with O Estado do Maranhão. Due to the nature of his reporting, the journalist had "many enemies," Scanssette told CPJ. Scanssette said he was not aware of Sá receiving any threats.
"El Salvador is committed to guaranteeing the safety of El Faro and its staff so they can continue their investigative work," David Rivas, spokesman for President Mauricio Funes Cartagena, told CPJ in a recent phone conversation. The government's pledge came after groundbreaking reporting by the digital newspaper about secret negotiations in which local gangs, known as Maras, said they would limit murders in exchange for official concessions, like having imprisoned gang members transferred to lower-security prisons.
New Delhi-based Tehelka weekly news magazine has published a scathing indictment of the police investigation into the 2011 killing of Mumbai crime reporter Jyotirmoy Dey--and of the Indian media's coverage of it. Beneath the allegations and the rumors, we still don't know exactly why he was killed, while the self-confessed mastermind is a fugitive from justice. Meanwhile, a second journalist has been indicted for the crime on apparently flimsy evidence.
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.