insists that his strategy against the drug cartels is working, and that most of the victims had ties to the drug cartels, albeit with some “collateral damage”- referring to the deaths of innocent bystanders, many of them children.
Last year, Calderon made a promise to members of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) to support legislation that would make any attack on journalists a federal crime. But a year later, none of the crimes committed against journalists during his administration have been solved.
“There seems to be a lack of political will from the Mexican Congress,’’ said Juan Fernando Healy Loera, vice president of Mexico’s Freedom of the Press Commission, who attended the IAPA event in San Diego last week.
The State of Journalism in Cuba
With few exceptions, journalists in Cuba and other Caribbean nations routinely face government interfereance when they try to expose corruption by public officials and agencies.
Cuba would seem to surpass other Caribbean nations in regard to media control, since most news outlets on the island are controlled and owned by the state, serving as propaganda MILLS more than sources of information. According to a report presented at last week's IAPA midyear convention, the few independent media that manage to survive in Cuba face a constant stream of state repression, harassment and surveillance.
Perhaps the only good news for journalists is that some 75 reporters, union organizers and human rights activists who were arrested in March of 2003 were set free after being sentenced to three to 30 year prison terms. However, most were forced to flee the country with their families upon release, or face the possibility of being jailed once again.
The IAPA report also points out that most journalists who dare to criticize the current government of Raul Castro face all manner of intimidation, along with their family members. The few foreign correspondents currently allowed to work on the island report having to deal with a government policy they’ve described as the typical “carrot and stick.’’
“If the correspondent becomes too raucous in his criticism, all kinds of problems are created for him until his presence in Havana turns into a torment,’’ the report says. On the other hand, if the journalist behaves “nicely,” the Cuban government will not only let him or her work at ease, but will grant them contacts and interviews.
Despite these policies, the Cuban government has
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