Justice in Mexico

Báez is Fifth Journalist Killed in Veracruz in Recent Months

Víctor Manuel Báez, a journalist in Veracruz, was killed on June 13. Photo: Associated Press

06/19/12 – In Veracruz, a series of attacks and assassinations has seemingly been launched against journalists who cover narco-violence and cartel related stories. The recent kidnap and murder of Víctor Manual Báez, who became the fifth journalist killed in Veracruz by criminal organizations since April, has kept the international and domestic pressure on the Mexican government to address the targeted campaign. According to reports, Báez, who was both the editor for Milenio in Veracruz and director of Reporteros Policiacos, was kidnapped and murdered on June 13–his body dumped in the streets of the state capital of Xalapa. A note attached to the victim attributed credit for his death to Los Zetas, but thus far police have been unable to confirm or deny the validity of the claim. As in the previous journalists’ deaths, Báez’s body showed signs of torture, although he was not dismembered like three other journalists were last month. This wave of violence, as well as rumors of plans to escalate the killings, has resulted in a number of reporters fleeing from Veracruz, leading to concerns about the continuation of the media as a free and fair entity within the state.

Despite federal legislation passed in March designed to protect journalists and other media figures, as well as personal promises by the governor of Veracruz in increase protection, the death toll of reporters continues to climb, which has led to national and international backlash. Mexico’s own National Commission of Human Rights (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, CNDH) has opened an investigation into the murder, while international organizations like the United Nations (UN), Amnesty International (AI), and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) have publicly condemned the killings, are pressuring the Mexican government to investigate and prosecute those responsible, and are simultaneously calling for the creation of additional protections for journalists nationwide. As reported by El Universal, the organizations allege that the Calderón administration has failed to implement meaningful procedures and sign federal legislation designed to provide law enforcement with additional tools to investigate and prosecute media-related killings. Mexico remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists to work, with the Committee to Protect Journalists ranking it in fifth place for 2011 only behind Pakistan, Iraq, and Libya, and tied with Brazil.


Notimex. “La CNDH abre investigación por asesinato de periodista.” El Informador. June 14, 2012.

“Mexican Journalist Killed.” USA Today. June 15, 2012.

“CIDH reprueba crimen de periodistas en México.” El Financiero. June 18, 2012.

Lara, Tania. “More Mexican reporters flee state of Veracruz after Zetas claim responsibility for killing of latest journalist.” Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. June 18, 2012.

“Relatoría de CIDH condena el asesinato en Veracruz de un periodista mexicano.” Terra. June 18, 2012.

Rodriguez, Ruth. “ONU-DH y AI condenan agresiones a periodistas en México.” El Universal. June 18, 2012.

“Ser periodista en Veracruz, un riesgo que algunos ya no quieren padecer.” CNN México. June 18, 2012.

“47 Journalists Killed in 2011/Motive Confirmed.” Committee to Protect Journalists. Website last visited June 19, 2012.

4 thoughts on “Báez is Fifth Journalist Killed in Veracruz in Recent Months”

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