More than 164,000 people have died, and over 20,000 disappeared since the Mexican government started its war with drug traffickers in December 2006.
And the numbers have only surged. In fact, according to PBS, “killings in Mexico have steadily, if quietly, outpaced the number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.”
The violence has also engulfed freedom of expression in the country. Nearly 80 journalists and media workers have been killed in Mexico in the past decade while 17 remain missing.
Last week, a crime reporter Anabel Flores Salazar’s half-naked, bound body was found on a highway after she was abducted from her home in Veracruz by eight armed men dressed in military uniforms.
Flores Salazar was the third journalist to be killed in Mexico this year. Before her, freelance contributor Marcos Hernández Bautista was murdered on Jan. 21. Radio journalist Reinel Martínez Cerqueda was shot dead the following day.
What’s even worse is that neither the police nor government authorities help in bringing to justice those responsible for the killings. Around 685 journalists have been killed with “complete impunity” since 1992, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
No wonder Reporters Without Borders ranks Mexico 148th out of 180 countries in its 2015 World Press Freedom Index.