The Silenced: Fighting for Press Freedom in Mexico
Mexico is considered one of the worst places in Latin America for press freedom and one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Since 2000, 55 journalists have been murdered in Mexico, 18 of them since the start of 2010.
The majority of the killings have been linked to organised drug cartels and their power networks, with journalists targeted because of their unstinting determination to uncover the truth.
Since the launch of President Filipe Calderon’s crackdown on drug cartels in 2006, the number of drug-related killings – including those of journalists - has been on the increase. By January 2011 more than 50,000 people - gang members, security forces, police, journalists and innocent bystanders – were estimated to have been killed in drug-related violence. At present the situation appears to be worsening for journalists near the northern border areas, especially around Chihuahua, due to drug smuggling activities by drug cartels.
"This evil which destroys our young"
During his recent visit to Mexico, Pope Benedict XVI spoke out about the Church’s responsibility in helping Mexico’s young people stay out of deadly drug cartels. In a speech he blamed part of the country's notorious drug problem on the “worship of money which enslaves men” and warned that young people in particular were at risk of being lured into the drug gangs. Pope Benedict said: “We must do everything possible to fight this evil which destroys our young. We must unmask this evil, these false promises and lies. Our duty, our great responsibility, is to educate consciences, to teach our young moral responsibility. I share Mexicans' joy and hope but also their anguish and grief.”
Exhibition information foo
What: Photo exhibition & panel discussion to mark World Press Freedom Day - ‘The Silenced: Fighting for Press Freedom in Mexico’
When: May 3-13, 2012
Where: The Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU
Media launch event: Thursday May 3, 2012 panel discussion and private view at above address, 6pm
Confirmed panelists include: Professor Roy Greenslade (City University), Elizabeth Witchel (Committee to Protect Journalists), Donnacha DeLong, (President of the NUJ), Jeremy Corbyn MP.
The launch event is invitation-only. For invitation queries or more information please contact: Pascale Palmer firstname.lastname@example.org +44 7785 950 585
In a country where the fight for freedom of the press is very often deadly, the Pope added, “The Church is always on the side of freedom, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion.”
Portraying the Silenced
CAFOD’s photo exhibition ‘The Silenced: Fighting for Press Freedom in Mexico’ has been developed in collaboration with The Guardian and the Committee to Protect Journalists. It launches on World Press Freedom Day to commemorate reporters in Mexico who have lost their lives in the pursuit of truth. ‘The Silenced’ is a growing group of journalists and media professionals who have been killed for reporting the reality of the country’s drugs cartels and their power networks, or have been caught in the cross-fire of drug violence. The exhibition will mark the courage and determination of ‘The Silenced’ and those who continue to fight to tell the truth about the Latin American drug cartels, despite the risks.