New America Media: The Press Under Pressure

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A series of three news reports, written by Jose Luis Sierra and published by New American Media, look at the situation facing the press in Latin America, based on the findings of country reports by the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA).

Part I focuses on Mexico and Cuba. An extract from the article:

In Mexico, now considered one of the most dangerous places for journalists, pressure from organized crime — quite often under the cover of government officials — has forced many media organizations to completely avoid any coverage related to drug traffickers. As a result, civilians have been forced to rely on informal social networks as a way to alert themselves to planned attacks and street blockades that drug traffickers set up for their operations.

(For the full article click here)

Part II covers Central and South America. An extract from the article:

Reported cases of violence against journalists in Central America have not yet reached levels as high as in Mexico, but signs of increasing danger for reporters are starting to surface in countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua and El Salvador.

(…)

In Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia, storm clouds are gathering over what is already an unfavorable climate for journalists and news organizations, as those governments move forward with plans to nationalize the media and control news content.

(For the full article click here)

Part III looks at the position of journalists who report on Mexico’s drug war. An extract from the article:

Numbers never give the whole picture, but do help to get some sense of a situation. Since Mexican President Felipe Calderon began his crusade against the drug cartels four-and-a-half years ago, 30 journalists have been killed or disappeared, turning the country into one of the most dangerous for journalists in the world.

Last year alone, attacks against journalists and media outlets spiked 60 percent over previous years, with 10 assassinations, according to journalists speaking at the recent Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) meeting in San Diego, Calif. So far, they said, no perpetrators have faced trial.

Attacks have also hit media installations. Organized crime has even bought out complete daily editions of local newspapers to stop their circulation. The Mexican Commission on Human Rights has filed more than 80 claims from journalists.

(For the full article click here)

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