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Murder of two women journalists brings media death toll since 2000 to 80

Reporters Without Borders is shocked by the murders of reporter Ana María Yarce Viveros, the founder of the weekly magazine Contralínea, and Rocio González Trápaga, a freelance journalist who used to work for Televisa. The bodies of two women were found in a Mexico City park yesterday.

“We strongly condemn this escalation of terror against journalists in what is already one of the hemisphere’s most dangerous and deadliest countries for the media,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Eighty journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000, six of them women. This double murder comes just a week after Humberto Millán Salazar, a presenter on Radio Formula and editor of the online newspaper A-Discusión, was murdered in the northwestern state of Sinaloa.

“More and more journalists are faced with the choice between self-censorship or exile. Can the media survive in Mexico? The authorities have still not implemented an agreement on safety mechanisms for journalists that was signed nearly a year ago [http://en.rsf.org/mexico-tv-technician-killed-in-coahuila-11-02-2011,39538.html](http://en.rsf.org/mexico-tv-technician-killed-in-coahuila-11-02-2011,39538.html). We are waiting for the government to act.”

Both aged 48, Yarce and González were kidnapped as they left their office and were strangled during the night of 31 August, Contralínea [http://revista-contralinea.blogspot.com/](http://revista-contralinea.blogspot.com/) reported. According to the Federal District prosecutor’s office, their bodies were found yesterday in a park in the eastern district Iztapalapa.

Radio Formula said their clothes had been removed, their hands and feet were bound and ropes were left around their necks [http://www.radioformula.com.mx/notas.asp?Idn=194408](http://www.radioformula.com.mx/notas.asp?Idn=194408). This kind of macabre presentation is the hallmark of a drug cartel killing

Federal District prosecutor Miguel Ángel Mancera promised that those responsible would be arrested quickly. The head of the Mexico City government, Marcelo Ebrard, also promised that justice would be done. Reporters Without Borders asks these officials or their aides to keep it informed about developments in the investigation. The motive has yet to be established.

An investigative magazine that has been going for more than 10 years, Contralínea has been the target of intimidation and judicial harassment, especially since 2007, when its reporting proved embarrassing for the national oil company PEMEX.

This double murder has compounded the widespread feeling of terror resulting from the federal offensive against drug trafficking launched in December 2006, whose death toll now stand at 50,000 [http://en.rsf.org/mexique-basta-de-sangre-no-sangre-campaign-11-02-2011,39540.html](http://en.rsf.org/mexique-basta-de-sangre-no-sangre-campaign-11-02-2011,39540.html). Until now, Mexico City had seemed much less exposed to the violence than the rest of the country.

About The Author

Freedom of expression and of information will always be the world’s most important freedom. If journalists were not free to report the facts, denounce abuses and alert the public, how would we resist the problem of children-soldiers, defend women’s rights, or preserve our environment? In some countries, torturers stop their atrocious deeds as soon as they are mentioned in the media. In others, corrupt politicians abandon their illegal habits when investigative journalists publish compromising details about their activities. Still elsewhere, massacres are prevented when the international media focuses its attention and cameras on events. Freedom of information is the foundation of any democracy. Yet almost half of the world’s population is still denied it. rsf.org

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