May 9, 2022 - World

11 journalists killed in Mexico so far this year

Illustration of a microphone with a cloth covering.  

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Two journalists were shot to death in Mexico this week, bringing the total number of journalists killed in Mexico to 11 this year.

Why it matters: Even in Mexico, which is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, the number of journalists killed in such a short period of time is unprecedented.

  • For example, last year was previously considered Mexico's most deadly year for journalists, after nine journalists were killed.

Details: The latest victims, Yessenia Mollinedo Falconi and Sheila Johana García Olivera of the online news site El Veraz in Cosoleacaque, were shot to death in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, per the AP.

  • The Veracruz State Attorney General's Office tweeted that it's opened an investigation into the killings.

The situation comes as journalists in the country, as well as press freedom activists and world leaders abroad, begin to sound the alarm on the issue.

  • Journalists in Mexico were preparing to protest the recent string of killings, ahead of the most recently-announced deaths, per the AP.
  • Just last week, a ninth journalist — Luis Enrique Ramírez of the newspaper El Debate — was found dead after multiple blows to the head, per CBS News.

Between the lines: What started out as a tragic pattern earlier this year has devolved into a full-scale crisis in Mexico.

  • Press activism groups like the International Press Institute have launched campaigns to try to call attention to the crisis.
  • Government bodies around the world have called on the Mexican government to address the situation, but Mexico's government has so mostly shrugged at those calls.
  • In February, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's cry for greater protections for Mexican journalists.

The big picture: Mexico has long been one of the most dangerous places for journalists globally, but victims rarely see justice.

  • In the past thirty years, only three journalists’ murders have resulted in convictions, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. In notes that since the late 1990s, "153 journalists have been murdered and another 29 have 'disappeared.'"
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