Report: Mexican journalist attacks high under Pena Nieto watch

Reports by journalists’ rights groups show that attacks against Mexican journalists have risen.

Journalism advocacy group, Article 19, say numbers show there have been more violations against Mexican journalists in the past two years — since President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration has been in office — than there were prior to his predecessor’s time in office.

In a report, the advocacy group found that during 2013 and 2014 – which were Pena Nieto’s first two years in office – there were an average of 328 “aggressions” each year against journalists, including murder.

A number increase from the average of 182 “aggressions” recorded each year during the six-year Calderon term. Former President Felipe Calderon ruled Mexico between 2006 and 2012 and was responsible for a militarized intervention against the country’s blood-thirsty drug cartels.

The report included acts ranging from intimidation, to threats of harm, hacking and physical attacks and murder. In 2014, Article 19 documents 412 physical attacks and six murders against Mexican journalists.

“Aggressions against the press have risen in a sustained way, and what we can deduce is that there is widespread violence,” said Dario Ramirez, director of Article 19, Mexico and Central America.

The report was released mere days after well-known journalist and government critic, Carmen Aristegui, was fired from her job by what she believed was due to presidential backing.

Aristegui revealed a conflict-of-interest scandal last year involving the purchase of homes of the current president and his wife. For her efforts, she was fired from her broadcasting position at MVS Radio.

In response to the Aristegui dispute, Mexico’s Interior Ministry said it was committed to a free and independent press.

Article 19 says that Mexico is among the most dangerous countries in the world to be a journalist. The journalism advocacy group also said that they had documented the murder of 10 journalists since Pena Nieto’s administration took power.

Another advocacy group, Committee to Protect Journalists, says 29 reporters have been killed in Mexico since 1992.