The Mexican Attorney General’s Office announced a new federal prosecutor for crimes against the media on Monday following complaints about the government’s investigations into the increasing number of journalist deaths. Gustavo Salas Chávez, a former employee of the federal crimes investigation unit, will replace Octavio Orellana. The Attorney General’s Office did not give a reason for the replacement, but said Salas Chávez had orders to review all of the outstanding killings.
Sixty journalists have been killed since 2000 in Mexico, according to the country’s National Human Rights Commission. Almost none of the press-related crimes have been solved. Orellana, the former special prosecutor, said in December 2008 that most of the journalists who had been killed were not targeted because of their work.
The violence has led many journalists to self censor their work on crime and drug trafficking because of security concerns, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Jorge Ochoa Martínez, editor in chief of El Sol de La Costa newspaper, was found dead with a gunshot to the face on February 1 in the state of Guerrero. He was the third journalist killed this year.