Mexican Media Under Attack: Lessons Learned from Colombia

Mexican Media Under AttackIn the face of violent murders of reporters and bombings of newspaper headquarters, a number of journalists in Colombia emerged as aggressive investigators of drug corruption in their country more than a decade ago. Today covering increasingly brutal drug cartel wars puts journalists in the line of fire in Mexico, now considered one of the world’s most dangerous countries for media workers. Drug gangs and even government agents—soldiers and police—threaten and attack journalists. As a result, many reporters practice self-censorship, which poses a danger to freedom of expression in the country.  Is the drug war threatening democracy in Mexico? What is the current situation in Colombia, and does it relate to Mexico today? Are there lessons to be learned from the experience of Colombian journalists?

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Opening and Introductions

Marguerite Sullivan
Senior Director

Session I: Fighting Violence Against Colombian Journalists

Don Podesta

Mexican and Colombian media environments: A comparative analysis
Michael Shifter

Vice President for Policy and Director of the Andean Program
Inter-American Dialogue

Perpetrators of violence against Colombian journalists
Juan Carlos Iragorri

U.S. correspondent for Semana, Colombia

The role of the Colombian government in protecting journalists
Juliana Cano Nieto

Former Executive Director
Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP), Colombia

Session II: Mexico’s Media Environment

Miriam Kornblith
Director, Latin America and the Caribbean Programs
National Endowment for Democracy

Fighting for press freedom in a dangerous country
Dolia Estévez

Senior Advisor for U.S.-Mexico Journalist Initiative of the Woodrow Wilson Center
Freelance Reporter for Mexican Media

Protection of Mexican journalists
Ana Avila
Senior Analyst
Institute for Security and Democracy, Mexico

Lessons to be learned from Colombia?
Carlos Lauría

Senior Program Coordinator for the Americas
Committee to Protect Journalists