7 June 2018 – Today, Mexico celebrates Free Expression Day, established in 1951 as a day to remember that Mexico’s Constitution defends and promotes the free flow of ideas.
However, in 2018, there is little to celebrate. Since 2004, PEN has recorded the murders of 94 writers and print journalists in Mexico and yet the majority of these crimes remain unsolved. These figures place Mexico as the most dangerous country to practice journalism in America, according to Article 19.
Among those recently killed is the case of Héctor González Antonio, killed on 29 May in Tamaulipas state. González was a correspondent for Grupo Imagen and covered violence, insecurity and organised crime for the daily newspaper Excelsior. His case has reportedly been taken up by Federal Special Prosecutor for Attention to Crimes Committed against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE), according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
This murder reminds us of other journalists killed this year whose murders remain unsolved: Leobardo Vázquez, a reporter from Veracruz, who was reportedly shot dead in his restaurant in March; and also in the south of Mexico, radio journalist, Juan Carlos Huerta, who was attacked in May. Pamela Montenegro died after being shot in Acapulco, Guerrero state, in February, the same month that Carlos Domínguez Rodríguez, a reporter from Tamaulipas, was killed.
PEN urges the Mexican authorities to do all in its power to protect its journalists and carry out prompt and thorough investigations into all crimes against journalists, bringing their perpetrators to justice.