Attacks on journalists remain on the rise in Mexico

Mexico City, May 3 (EFE).- Aggression against the news media in Mexico rose 20 percent in the first three months of this year compared with the same period in 2012, the watchdog group Article 19 said Friday.

The organization documented 50 attacks on individual journalists and three assaults on media outlets in the first quarter of 2012, Article 19 spokesman Omar Rabago told Efe on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.

One news professional went missing during the period and remains unaccounted for, while another, Jaime Guadalupe Gonzalez, was murdered on March 3, Rabago said.

"Nothing has changed," he said. "In reality, we are still waiting for the Mexican state in this new administration to comply with what it promised," the activist said, referring to the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office Dec. 1.

More than 80 journalists have been slain in Mexico since 2000, according to figures from the country's independent National Human Rights Commission.

Article 19, applying the narrower definition of "a clear link between the journalistic work and the murder," puts the number at 73.

Mexico remains one of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists, with 16 reporters "disappeared" over the last decade and 46 bombings and shootings at media outlets, the group says.

The Mexican security forces have been responsible for a third of the documented instances of aggression against news gatherers, Article 19 says.

Broadcast journalist Jose Gerardo Padilla Blanquet went missing on April 30 in Saltillo, the northern city where newspaper photographer Daniel Alejandro Martinez was murdered six days earlier, the organization noted.