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World's Press Deeply Concerned by Attack on Journalist's Home in Mexico

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum (WEF) have called for an immediate and thorough investigation into an armed attack on the home of Mexican journalist Anabel Hernández.

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On 21 December, a group of heavily armed men broke into the home of Ms Hernández, WAN-IFRA's 2012 Golden Pen Laureate, in Mexico City. The journalist was not in her house at the time and the assailants briefly detained one of the journalist's security escorts. They identified themselves as members of the police, and later, as members of the "Zetas" drug cartel. Despite the presence of a police station less than a mile away, no authorities showed up as the commando managed to close the access to the Hernández' street for approximately half an hour.

"We are deeply concerned for the safety of Ms Hernández," the international organisations said in a letter to President Enrique Peña Nieto. "We respectfully call on you to ensure that a thorough and independent investigation is carried out into the attack and that those responsible for planning and executing it are quickly brought to justice.

Ms Hernández has written extensively on organized crime in Mexico and its links with high-level authorities, businessmen and military and police forces. As a result, she has been the target of several attacks and threats in the past three years.

The full letter to the President can be read here.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries for media professionals worldwide. Since the start of the previous' government military offensive against organized crime in 2006, the number of journalists killed, exiled and displaced has grown exponentially. In the past three years alone, 14 journalists have been killed.

The organisations urged Peña Nieto to "do everything in your power to ensure the safety of Ms Hernández and other threatened journalists, and to bring an end to Mexico's prevailing climate of impunity."

In the past two years, WAN-IFRA has published two reports on violence against the press in Mexico [WAN-IFRA September 2012 Report+WAN-IFRA/IPI April 2013 Report]. Despite certain progress in the federalization of crimes against journalists and the setting up of a Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, the Mexican authorities continue to fail in guaranteeing the safety of media professionals and in putting a stop to the high levels of impunity that promote self-censorship.

www.wan-ifra.org

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