The dangers of journalism in other countries have often been publicized, from Daniel Pearl’s execution in Pakistan to the recent release of a Cuban journalist from a prison in Havana. Now Mexico is on the forefront of the ongoing war against freedom of the press.
According to The Seattle Times, at least 30 Mexican journalists have been killed or have vanished since President Felipe Calderón came to office in 2006. Local drug cartels are suspected of carrying out nearly all of these killings, as a result of Calderón’s increased crackdown on drug operations and organized crime.
The US has even intervened; in an unprecedented move, the country granted asylum to one Mexican journalist. Advocates are pleading for more help:
The crisis has reached such a point that the Mexican newspaper Diario de Juárez published a front page plea asking drug lords “what [they] intend us to publish or fail to publish,” which some have seen as surrendering the duties of journalism to another authority.
The Mexican government has rejected this attempt at a truce, says Yahoo! News. “It simply is not appropriate in any way shape or form, for any party to try to make agreements with, promote a truce with, or negotiate with criminals,” said Alejandro Poire, spokesman of security matters for Calderón.
Should a journalist’s responsibility to report a fair and balanced truth come at any cost? When lives are at stake, is it yet another responsibility to preserve one’s fellow members of the press?