The body of Mexican journalist Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz was discovered last month in Veracruz. A month earlier, her colleague Miguel Angel Lopez was found shot to death inside his home in the same eastern port city. His wife and son were slain as well.
Those deaths brought to seven the number of reporters killed so far this year in Mexico, according to Reporters Without Borders. They are yet another reminder of the spiraling violence that has claimed nearly 40,000 lives since 2006, when President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels.
Mexico is now the deadliest country in the Americas for journalists, according to human rights groups. More than 30 reporters have been killed there since 2006. The government has established a special prosecutor for crimes against journalists. But the situation has not improved.
It's no surprise that Mexican journalists are showing up in Canada or the United States, requesting asylum. Among those is Emilio Gutierrez, who fled Chihuahua for New Mexico in 2008 after receiving death threats he attributed to his reporting on alleged abuses by the Mexican military. He has repeatedly spoken out about the violence in his homeland and recently filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights contending that the Mexican government is unable to stop the military from committing crimes against his countrymen.