01/30/12 – The Assistant Attorney General of International Affairs (Subprocurador Jurídico y de Asuntos Internacionales), Alejandro Ramos Flores, announced at a meeting with the organization PEN International that the Federal Government of Mexico will spare no expense to protect journalists and will not tolerate those who commit crimes against them. PEN, which is currently headed by John Ralston Saul, is a writer-centered organization that fights against censorship for not just journalists, but all writers. Ramos Flores, who was representing Attorney General Marisela Morales Ibáñez, emphasized the important role of the Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR) in guaranteeing freedom of the press and speech throughout Mexico. He also discussed that Congress has started a movement to amend the Federal Penal Code by adding a section on crimes against journalists that will give the PGR rights over investigating such cases.
According to Proceso, in 2011 there were 17 reported homicide cases involving individuals working in the media field, 13 of which involved actual journalists. Based on a report compiled by the organization Artículo 19, 77 journalists have been violently murdered in Mexico since 2000. While some bodies have been found, others have simply disappeared. In recent years, at least 19 media headquarters have reportedly been under attack with firearms and explosives.