Three photojournalists and one of the journalist’s girlfriends were found slain and dismembered in plastic bags by a canal in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz last Thursday.
According to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission, 74 media workers have been slain from 2000 to last year, making Mexico one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in the world.
The discovery of the bodies was only five days after police officials found Regina Martinez’s corpse in her bathroom. Martinez was a drug trafficking correspondent for the national magazine, Proceso.
The victims found slain were some of the few Mexican journalists willing to cover crime-related stories in Mexico. Last year, all three victims reportedly received threats against their lives, according to press freedom groups.
Most of these threats and murders were unresolved and have left terror among journalists. The fear to report is increasing censorship, and journalists are relying heavily on outlets such as social media and blogs to report serious crime. Press advocates call for immediate government action.
On May 3, dozens of Somali journalists celebrated World Press Freedom Day, immediately after discovering the death of a fifth Somali journalist this year. Representatives spoke about the importance of journalists’ safety in conflict zones.
“Countless others face intimidation, harassment and censorship at the hands of governments, corporations and powerful individuals seeking to preserve their power or hide wrongdoings and misdeeds,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.