The American Society of News Editors and Inter American Press Association will hold a two-day summit of Mexican and U.S. editors, press freedom monitors, and government officials at the University of Texas-El Paso on Dec. 5-6. The summit will focus on what the grops call the startling violence unfolding against journalists in the region, and will look for solutions to what has become one of the most deadly and vexing journalism issues in the hemisphere.
The goal of the program, which will be presented in English and Spanish, is to draw on resources, ideas and leadership in both Mexico and the U.S., to begin to identify a response to the violence that has taken the lives of at least 11 journalists in Mexico this year. The forum will include a presentation by representatives of the Committee to Protect Journalists, which in September published a lengthy report, “Silence or Death in Mexico's Press,” and a live video conference with Catalina Botero, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, who returned recently from a special mission to Mexico. At least 24 journalists have been killed in Mexico over the past four years, according to the CPJ, a U.S.-based media watchdog group. As a result, many media organizations have altered or eliminated their coverage of the drug war and its ensuing violence.