Mexican Senate Votes to Federalize Crimes Against Journalists

PEN Canada press release

One step closer to free expression in Mexico

On March 13, 2012  the Mexican Senate voted to amend Article 73 of the Constitution to federalize crimes committed against journalists. The amendment has to be ratified by a majority of Mexico’s 32 states before it becomes law. Nevertheless, the Senate vote is a significant step towards curbing impunity.

The President of PEN International, John Ralston Saul, said:“This amendment was the focus of our recent delegation to Mexico City, and in particular of our conversation with the President of the Senate and other Senators. Its passage is a very important step in the reforming of Mexican law to make it serve the freedom of expression of Mexican writers and Mexican citizens as a whole.”

This reform was one of the main recommendations in Corruption, Impunity, Silence: The War on Mexico’s Journalists – a report published last June by PEN Canada and the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto. The report is available in English and Spanish.

Read PEN International’s statement on the Senate vote.
Read the Committee to Protect Journalists’ report on the Mexican Senate’s landmark new amendment.
Read “Attacks on Journalists in Mexico: Why Federalization of these Crimes Matters” by PEN International researcher Cathal Sheerin.