MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico had the most journalists killed in retaliation for their work in 2020, followed by Afghanistan and the Philippines, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says in a new report.
Worldwide, at least 30 journalists were killed through Dec. 15, up from 26 in 2019. At least 21 of them were killed in retaliation for their work, up from 10 in 2019. The CPJ is investigating the killings of 15 other journalists to determine whether those were related to reporting.
In Mexico, at least four journalists were the victims of targeted killings in 2020 and a fifth was shot to death after photographing a crime scene. The CPJ said it was investigating the motive in at least four other killings. Other press groups put the total number of journalists murdered so far in Mexico this year at 11.
“Mexico has long been the most dangerous country in the Western Hemisphere for the press, which operates amid a complex web of criminal, drug-trafficking gangs and entrenched official corruption,” the report said.
In Afghanistan militant groups killed at least four journalists in retaliation for their work, and at least three were killed in the Philippines.
The report said the number of combat-related journalists’ deaths worldwide dropped to three, “the lowest level since 2000, as the intensity of conflicts in the Middle East abated and the COVID-19 pandemic dominated media attention and made it difficult for journalists to travel.”
All three of those journalists were killed covering the continuing conflict near the city of Idlib in northern Syria.