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Chamber of Deputies approves motion to have committee on violence against the press reestablished

(ARTICLE 19/CENCOS/IFEX) - Mexico City, 13 November 2009 - On 10 November 2009, the Chamber of Deputies approved a motion to reestablish the Special Committee for Dealing with Attacks on Journalists and News Media. The move came after the assassination on 2 November of journalist José Bladimir Antuna Garcia in Durango. There was no explanation as to why this special committee on violence against the press did not appear on the list of committees mandated for the current legislative session, which began sitting in September.

The special committee was created in order to, among other things, provide a legal framework to ensure that freedom of expression and the right to information are protected in Mexico.

Between 2006 and 2009, the committee presented several motions, including a proposal to have attacks on freedom of expression handled at the federal level, but it lacked both the capacity to present motions before Congress and the resources required for it to function fully. As such, it was unable to deal in a tangible way with attacks on freedom of expression and the problems faced by journalists.

ARTICLE 19 and CENCOS call on Mexico's legislators to recognise the gravity of the situation and create a committee that has the resources and capacity required to bring proposals for new legislation before Congress, as well as re-activate initiatives on the following issues: the federalisation of attacks on freedom of expression, the decriminalisation of defamation in 17 states, changes to the press law and criteria for the awarding of government advertising to media outlets.

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