Mexico: Impunity and collusion

Mexico CityThreats to reporters from government and criminals are making investigative journalism impossible, writes Deborah Bonello

In February this year, the car of Mexican journalist Estrada Zamora was found empty on the side of the road in the southern state of Michoacán with its engine running. Zamora was not inside and has not been seen since.

A few days earlier Francisco Ortiz Monroy, a reporter for the Mexico City-based daily Diario de México was shot dead, apparently by hitmen, in the municipality of Camargo in Tamaulipas, a state near the US border.

These are only the latest in a litany of murders and crimes of aggression against journalists in Mexico, which in 2006 earned itself the ignoble title of the most dangerous place to work as a journalist after Iraq from Reporters Without Borders. 2007 wasn’t much better, and as the above shows, 2008 is also shaping up to be a fatal year for some in the profession. Three journalists were shot dead in a single week in February.