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Mexico journalist murders 'crimes against humanity,' ICC told

Journalists hold up photos of slain colleagues at a rally in Mexico City in June 2018
Journalists hold up photos of slain colleagues at a rally in Mexico City in June 2018 AFP
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Mexico City (AFP)

Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday it had asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the murders of 102 journalists in Mexico from 2012 to 2018, calling the rash of killings a crime against humanity.

Another 14 journalists have gone missing in the same period, the media-rights group said. It urged the Hague-based court, which handles the most serious international crimes, to investigate the killings and kidnappings as a targeted campaign against the press.

"These crimes against humanity... (constitute) a generalized and systematic attack on a civilian population: journalists," the secretary general of Reporters Without Borders, Christophe Deloire, told a news conference.

He accused authorities of "evident complicity" in the killings under the two presidents in question, Felipe Calderon (2006-2012) and Enrique Pena Nieto (2012-2018).

Reporters Without Borders and Mexican rights group Propuesta Civica, which are jointly pushing the ICC to act, said they would ask Mexico's new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to file a case before the court.

Only the court's member states, prosecutor or the United Nations Security Council can bring cases before the ICC.

Mexican officials are "very positive" about the initiative, and Lopez Obrador is open to the idea, said Emmanuel Colombie, Latin America representative for Reporters Without Borders.

The watchdog group ranks Mexico as one of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists, behind only war-torn Afghanistan and Syria.

The explosion of journalist murders in Mexico has coincided with a wave of violent crime driven by powerful drug cartels and fueled by political corruption.

The vast majority of the murders have gone unpunished, as do more than 90 percent of violent crimes in Mexico.

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