WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Dying for a Story: How Impunity and Violence against Mexican Journalists are Weakening the Country

Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Washington, DC

WOLA and the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute invite you to the following event: 

Dying for a Story: How Impunity and Violence against Mexican Journalists are Weakening the Country

Welcoming remarks

Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center


Ana Cristina Ruelas
Director of Article 19’s Office for Mexico and Central America

Azam Ahmed
Bureau Chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, New York Times

Jennifer Clement
President, PEN International, Mexico City

Adela Navarro
Director, Zeta Magazine, Tijuana, Baja California

Ismael Bojorquez
Co-Founder, RioDoce, Culiacan, Sinaloa

Norma Trujillo
Reporter, La Jornada, Jalapa, Veracruz

Moderated by

Eric L. Olson
Deputy Director, Latin American Program and Senior Advisor, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Maureen Meyer
Senior Associate for Mexico and Migrant Rights, WOLA

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Wilson Center
6th Floor Flom Auditorium
Ronald Reagan Building and
International Trade Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004


This event will be in English and Spanish and interpretation will be available. A live stream of the event will be available at WilsonCenter.org.

Mexico has faced significant threats and violence from organized crime over the last decade. The human toll and tragedy of this violence is directly impacting journalists as well, leading to self-censorship, under-reporting of organized crime, and the corruption and state complicity that comes with it. Journalists have been killed, injured, and threatened as they seek to investigate and report on what is happening, and dozens of media outlets have been forced to close in the last few years. According to Article 19, eleven journalists were killed in 2016. So far in 2017, seven journalists have been killed, including Javier Valdéz, an internationally recognized journalist from Sinaloa’s RioDoce, on May 15th. Most recently, Mexican authorities announced on June 26 that they found the body of Salvador Adame Pardo, a journalist from Michoacán who had been reported missing in May.

In 2012, the United States supported the legislative framework that established Mexico’s National Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists. Through USAID, the United States has continued to support the Protection Mechanism and other programs to benefit journalists and defenders in Mexico. Nevertheless, the recent cases demonstrate that these mechanisms have not yet been effective. The Mexican government has expressed concern about the problem and promised justice, but investigations and prosecutions of those responsible have been very few. In the process, freedom of information, freedom of the press, the rule of law, and democratic governance have been weakened.

Please join us for a discussion with experts and courageous Mexican journalists to hear about their work and the difficulties and risks they and their colleagues face.

They will be joined by Ana Cristina Ruelas, the Director of Article 19’s office for Mexico and Central America, Jennifer Clement, the President of PEN International, and Azam Ahmed, the New York Times’ Bureau Chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, who will present an overview of attacks and aggressions against journalists in Mexico and the Mexican government’s response to this concerning situation.

For more information, please contact WOLA Program Officer Hannah Smith at hsmith@wola.org or (202) 797-2191.