British NGO Article 19 accuse Mexican authorities of complicity in the disappearance of journalists following the release of a damning report on violence against the media in the drug-ravaged nation.
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (FEBRUARY 09, 2016) (REUTERS) – In the last 12 years, at least 23 journalists have disappeared in Mexico, the highest number in the world, according to a damning report from British journalism advocacy group, Article 19.
The report titled “The Disappearance and Forced Disappearance of those Exercising Freedom of Expression in Mexico”, was presented to media in the country’s capital on Tuesday (February 09) just hours after the abduction of crime-beat reporter Anabel Flores in the violence-ravaged state of Veracruz.
Lawyer for Article 19, Paulina Gutierrez, told media that there are indicators of complicity from authorities in the recent disappearance of Flores.
“The journalist from Veracruz (who went missing) yesterday, her location is unknown, authorities have also not made a statement in spite of the fact of indication of probable participation of authorities,” he said.
According to the British NGO, some 65% cases of missing journalists in Mexico came from drug-ravaged states like Veracruz, Chihuahua and Sinaloa.
One of the 23 cases of missing journalists in Mexico taken on by Article 19 in the report is of Moises Sanchez Cerezo. Municipal authorities have been accused of involvement in his disappearance.
The nearly two dozen missing cases detailed in the report reveal concerning statistics into violence against media in Mexico, added Gutierrez.
“The 23 cases that are included in this report were from the many, or few organisations who have knowledge (of the situation) and have been able to get close. The seriousness of this case is that seeing them included in this report, in a complete, thorough way, as a complete map, presents a very worrying situation,” she said.
Nearly all cases of missing journalists reported on issues concerning corruption and the involvement of authorities in organised crime.
“The type of coverage of (the missing journalists) are issues of corruption, the involvement of authorities on all levels of organised crime. There was a tabloid specifically on organised crime activity,” said Gutierrez.
Article 19 are calling on Mexican authorities to investigate all cases of missing journalists thoroughly and to stamp out impunity.
The Committee to Protect Journalists all reported that at least 32 reporters have been killed in Mexico since 1992, ranking it alongside Iraq and Afghanistan as one of the world’s most dangerous nations for media.