In a surprisingly quick response, Mexican federal police secured the freedom of 4 journalists who were taken hostage by a drug ring in the region of Durango, arresting 3 men on Wednesday in Gómez Palacio, the city where the four journalists were abducted. The hostages were found in separate houses.
Carlos Lauria, of the Commitee to Protect Journalists, said "We applaud Mexican federal authorities for making speedy progress in investigating the kidnapping of our colleagues," said Lauría. "But arrests are the first step only. We will monitor the judicial process to see that these arrests are followed by a full and thorough prosecution."
Wednesday's arrests were an unusually fast response by authorities in a country where more than 90 percent of violent anti-press crimes go unsolved, according to CPJ research. "Mexican authorities must break the cycle of impunity in journalists' crimes as the wave of violence is causing lasting damage to Mexican democracy," Lauría said.
Mexico is one of the world's most dangerous countries for the press, CPJ research shows. More than 30 journalists have been killed and disappeared since President Felipe Calderón came to power in 2006.
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This is what American journalists can look forward to if the USA and Mexico don't cooperate in aggressively shutting down the cartels, eliminating corruption and addressing the problem of illegal immigration.