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IPI releases "World Press Freedom Review 2010 - Focus on the Americas"

(IPI/IFEX) - 2 May 2011 - The Americas last year inched closer to becoming the most dangerous region in the world for journalists, with two countries - Mexico and Honduras - accounting for nearly a quarter of reporters killed in 2010, the International Press Institute (IPI) said today, releasing its "World Press Freedom Review 2010 - Focus on the Americas".

The region, with 32 deaths, accounted for almost a third of the 102 journalists who died in 2010. The year was the second bloodiest since IPI's Death Watch records began in 1997, behind only 2009, which saw 110 deaths.

Mexico, which remains locked in a violent standoff between drug cartels and security forces, saw 12 deaths last year. Honduras, which has seen a spike in killings since the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya in 2009 by a military-backed coup and the subsequent election of Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo Sosa as president, saw 10 deaths.

World Press Freedom Review Managing Editor Anthony Mills said: "Although popular consciousness is attuned to war correspondents dying in conflict zones that are in the international eye such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and, more recently, Libya, in Mexico there's another no-less-deadly front line.

"It's a front line littered with the bodies of journalists whose by-line may not appear on the pages of the world's most prominent newspapers, and who may not file reports for the world's most prominent broadcasters, but who are no less heroic, no less committed to the cause of gathering and transmitting news to serve the public interest in a country facing a very real, extremely violent, and often deadly conflict."

The Americas' journalist death count in 2010 came second only to Asia, which with 40 deaths held on to its title as the most dangerous region for journalists. Pakistan, with 16 deaths, was the most dangerous country in Asia, and the world, for journalists last year.

Fifteen journalists died in sub-Saharan Africa in 2010, while eight died in the Middle East and North Africa and seven died in Europe.

Although the number of journalists who died in 2010 represented a drop from 2009's all-time high, it was in some ways worse than previous tallies because no large number could be tied to a major war or a single high-fatality incident.

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