Home Page > A Freedom of Expression Bulletin (June 2011): Mexico’s War on Journalists

PEN Canada report on Mexico – Corruption, Impunity Silence – The War on Mexico’s Journalists
June 2011

Dear PEN colleagues,

PEN Canada has collaborated with the International Human Rights Program at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, in the research and writing of a timely and provocative report: Corruption, Impunity, Silence (also available in Spanish).

The report exposes the Mexican government’s repeated failure to protect the human rights of journalists, its complicity in a number of rights violations against them, and the web of Mexican laws that limit freedom of expression and effectively gag journalists who seek to expose government corruption. The report is authored by Master’s students at the Faculty of Law and is based, in part, on interviews with Mexican human rights defenders and journalists conducted during a fact-finding trip in November 2010.

The report makes numerous recommendations to the Mexican government and points to the role that must be played by other governments in placing human rights protection of Mexican media workers on their foreign policy agenda, recommending that foreign aid and government investment be conditional on implementation of effective mechanisms to protect journalists, ending impunity for crimes against them, and fostering a free and open press.

The report was released on 3rd June, 2011 in Toronto. That same day Canada’s national newspaper The Globe and Mail published an op-ed by John Ralston Saul, President of PEN International which ended as follows: “Until the governments of Canada and the United States and bodies such as the European Parliament are prepared to move beyond the façade of reassuring rhetoric, Mexico’s lethal war on journalists will continue. This war, commonly described as a struggle against drug lords, has a great deal more to do with decades of government corruption; police, military and political links to organized crime; and institutionalized limitations on freedom of expression.” (to read the op-ed in Spanish, click here).

This important report is something we hope that all centres will read (an executive summary of the report is also available in English and Spanish). It becomes part of the WiPC’s ongoing campaign in Mexico, a campaign that will take several forms later this year, on November 2nd, The Day of the Dead, and on November 23rd, which IFEX members are marking as a worldwide Day to End Impunity. You’ll hear more about these campaigns at a later date.

Marian Botsford Fraser


Writers in Prison Committee

PEN International

Read John Ralston Saul’s op-ed in English at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/the-lethal-war-on-mexicos-journalists/article2044985/ and in Spanish at: http://www.internationalpen.org.uk/go/news/la-guerra-de-m-xico-contra-los-periodistas

Read the PEN Canada press release in English at: http://tinyurl.com/3mshz7f

Read the executive summary of Corruption, Impunity, Silence: The War on Mexico’s Journalists in English and in Spanish

Read the full report in English and in Spanish