Scribes, silent and vocal

Three reporters were killed in Mexico last year, putting it at number four on the list of the Committee to Protect Journalists' deadliest places to exercise the profession, after Pakistan, Iraq and Libya. Since CPJ began to compile the data in 1992, twenty-seven Mexican reporters have been murdered.

While this might not seem like a huge number -- especially when compared to the 50,000 citizens who have been killed since Felipe Calderón was elected president in 2006 -- they have a special significance. Their murders have effectively silenced many other Mexican reporters, particularly in cities along the border and in interior states such as Michoacán, where reporting about drug trafficking -- and the police, soldiers and politicians who may be involved in it -- can cost you your life.

Yesterday, Sunday the 29th, PEN International summoned forty writers from North America -- Mexico, Canada and the United States -- to a media event at the Casa Lamm here in Mexico City, in which the organization denounced the murders and the Mexican government's woefully inadequate response. Each writer stood up and gave a brief speech, announcing his or her grief, disdain or rage. Let's hope their voices will be heard.