National Press Club

NPC condemns killing of Mexican journalist and his family

June 21, 2011 | By John Hughes | jhughes5@bloomberg.net

Slain journalist Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco.

Slain journalist Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco.

Photo/Image: Notiver

The National Press Club condemned the killing of Mexican journalist Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco and his family inside their home as violence against the news media in the country has been on the rise.

Lopez Velasco, his wife, and their 21-year-old son were killed by gunfire in Veracruz, located on Mexico's southeast coast. Velasco was editorial director for the Notiver daily newspaper and wrote a column about politics and crime, according to media reports. His son was a photographer for the paper.

"We abhor the killing of journalists anywhere, but violence that occurs so close to our country, where we enjoy broad press freedoms, is particularly intolerable," said Mark Hamrick of the Associated Press, president of the National Press Club.

Reporters Without Borders calls Mexico the western hemisphere's most dangerous country for the media, with 74 journalists killed there since 2000.

Deaths related to organized crime in Mexico reached 15,273 last year, a 59 percent increase compared with 2009, according to data from the Mexican president’s office cited by the media.

Hamrick said it will be impossible to end crime and corruption in Mexico if journalists are forced to flee the country or hide to try to protect their lives. "We call on the Mexican authorities to deal swiftly and severely with anybody committing violence against reporters," he said.

The National Press Club, based in Washington, D.C., is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. The Club represents more than 3,200 members worldwide representing every major news organization. The Club was founded in 1908.