More Journalists Killed in Mexico Than Afghanistan
By one count, at least 42 journalists have been murdered there in the past half decade
Last week we highlighted an interactive map of the most dangerous places for journalists in Afghanistan. There are places, though, that are even more dangerous. According to a report from Reuters, at least 42 journalists have been killed in Mexico over the past five years, making it more deadly for reporters than war-torn Afghanistan. The figure comes from the Committee to Protect Journalists; the country's own human rights commission puts the number at 50.
Those statistics are just one part of the bleak picture painted by the Reuters report about the perils journalists face in Mexico. Reporters are often pressured by drug gangs in the country to curb coverage of the violence and even do the drug lords' bidding--by transmitting written messages left on gang victims or by keeping tabs on what's said about them in newsrooms. The Mexican military, too, sometimes bullies the media into staying hush-hush on human rights abuses against detainees in the drug wars. The government doesn't help much. "Organized crime is in control of the state's politics, police and the justice system," Michael O'Connor, a spokesperson in Mexico for the Committee to Protect Journalists, told Reuters.