Reporters Without Borders, which constantly monitors violence against journalists, has prepared five graphics to draw attention to murders of journalists in Latin America’s four deadliest countries for media personnel – Mexico, Honduras, Brazil and Colombia – and to try to explain how this violence has evolved in the course of their recent history.
Two hundred one journalists, bloggers, social communicators and media workers have been killed since 2000 in these four countries. In most cases, the exact motives remain unknown. But the killings were clearly or most likely the result of the victims’ professional activities.
When investigations do take place, they lead nowhere and are frequently hampered by corrupt officials.
Mexico, the deadliest country for journalists in all the Americas, ranks number one on this dark list. Eighty-one journalists have been murdered there from January, 2000 to September, 2014. Colombia follows, with 56 killed; then Brazil, 38. Finally, Honduras has seen the number of journalist murders surge since the 2009 coup, to a total of 27. In most cases in all four countries, murdered journalists were targeted because of attempts to report official misconduct, human rights violations, organized crime and corruption.
Nearly all of these crimes remain unpunished, given the absence of political will and of efficient judicial systems. The numbers are even more disturbing because none of these countries is officially at war, despite the continued presence of paramilitaries in Colombia, and Mexico’s federal offensive against drug cartels during the administration of Felipe Calderón.
Click on the infographics to enlarge.