On October 25, 2011 according to a joint assessment released by the United Nations and the organization of American States named Mexico as the fifth most dangerous country in the world of journalism. Mexico is one of several danger zones where the powerful attempt to silence journalists like Maria Elizabeth Macias, who are doing their job/s is taking its place.
Maria’s mutilated remains were found beside a note apparently written by the Zetas cartel in which they claimed revenge for her online exposes and criticism. Clamming that her “crime” was posting articles that would help her fellow Mexican citizens understand the underworld of organized crime in Mexico.
Throughout 2009-2010, some 120 journalists were killed on the job worldwide, while another 145 journalists are imprisoned and more then 450 live in exile for fear of being persecuted or killed. Just this year alone, in Mexico about ten journalists have been killed and more then thirty since President Calderon took office.
For decades, Mexican journalists struggled to earn their independence from the patronage system along with the process they profoundly altered the long- corrupt political system that had been dictated by the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party). The PRI government for more then seven decades, ruled over Mexico and controlled mass media though lucrative business deals, privileges, subsides, concessions and bribes that captured media professionals and assured positive appearance for the PRI.
In the 1970’s things began to falter when journalist Julio Scherer Garcia and his contemporaries began to expose hidden underbelly of inequities and injustices. In 1985 Zapatista journalists exposed, the PRI’s inability to govern honestly and effectively after a gas leak in a government plant. It wasn’t until 2000 (first time since 1929), that a non-PRI candidate took office. Setting a new tone for Mexican journalism who established their rightful place as the informants to Mexico’s policy.
Still today, after over a decade that journalists affirmed their important role in Mexico’s political spectrum, the countries school of journalism faces the threat of being completely silenced. “And to make matters even worse, as this way of life continues without the work of ethical journalists and political leaders disseminating the political realities, potential solutions and the norms that refuse to tolerate these dynamics, what was once considered unacceptable can become accepted as just the way things are”
Sources: Truthout, October 17, 2011
Article Tile: Journalism in Mexico Faces Threat of Being Completely Silenced
Author: Maria Armoudian
Student Researcher: Bianca Calderon, Sonoma state University
Faculty Evaluator: Fernando Herrera, Sonoma State