Reporters Targeted in Record Numbers
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How to kill a journalist: behead; gun down; throw, with hands and feet bound, from a seventh-floor window; torture to death; blow up; deny medical care in appalling prison conditions; beat to death; locate through satellite phone signal, and then pound with mortar fire. The list goes on.
From Somalia to Pakistan, journalists are being targeted for death in record numbers, and in brutal ways. In fact, this year is shaping up to be the most lethal for journalists since the International Press Institute (IPI) began keeping count 15 years ago.
In the first quarter of 2012, 29 journalists were killed because of their work.
In virtually every case involving the slaying of a journalist, in countries both free and unfree, the perpetrators are never brought to justice. Sometimes a triggerman is hauled in, and even, on occasions convicted. But the masterminds? Nowhere to be found. A message is thus sent: Kill a journalist, and nothing will happen. Silence a voice, and you won’t be punished. Murder the messenger, and the system will look the other way.
The latest reporter to be murdered is Regina Martinez, killed in her home in Veracruz, Mexico, on Saturday.
Martinez was a veteran reporter, according to Mexican media reports. Her recent work was dominated by crime stories. On Friday, an online story carrying her byline described the arrests of nine municipal police officers suspected of drug ties. A day before that, she wrote about a shootout and the arrest of a woman suspected of commanding hit men. Earlier articles described proceedings against a mayor arrested on suspicion of links to drug traffickers.
Regina Martinez Gomez. Foto periodista-es.org