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On the heels of the murder of two female indigenous radio broadcasters, an international mission has gone to Mexico to assess the country's deteriorating press freedom situation.

This week, local and international IFEX members and partners are visiting regions where free expression has been particularly at threat, from Oaxaca in the south, where the two indigenous reporters were killed earlier this month (allegedly by state forces), to Sonora in the north, which was the most dangerous state for journalists in 2007.

The mission aims "to provide support to local media organisations and unions, and to raise awareness about the risks that media workers face." The mission is also hoping that new solutions will arise out of talks with federal and state authorities, to address the pervasive problems of violence, impunity and self-censorship.

According to ARTICLE 19, acts of aggression against journalists have been on the rise since 2003. In that year, 75 attacks on journalists were registered, compared to 131 in 2006.

Participating organisations include IFEX members ARTICLE 19, World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), International Federation of Journalists, Committee to Protect Journalists, Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP), International Press Institute and Inter American Press Association.

International Media Support, International News Safety Institute, Rory Peck Trust Fund, Open Society Institute and UNESCO are also involved.

The participating organisations will present a public report on freedom of expression issues and make specific recommendations to the Mexican state.


(22 April 2008)

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