MEXICO – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday it was “vitally important” to punish those responsible for the disappearances in Mexico and to have freedom of the press and protection for journalists, two areas in which she promised to help.
At a joint press conference with President Enrique Peña Nieto at the National Palace, Merkel celebrated Mexico’s efforts to ensure the protection of journalists and promised to help in that regard.
Regarding the missing persons, who number in the tens of thousands in this country, she stressed the need to “punish and find the culprits.”
For this reason, Germany cooperates with the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and victim associations, added the head of government at the start of a visit of less than 24 hours to the Latin American country, the second since 2008.
So far this year, at least seven journalists have died in Mexico, one of the most dangerous countries in the world for the practice of the profession, and another, Salvador Adame, disappeared in mid-May in the state of Michoacán.
According to information from the National Registry of Data on Missing or Disappeared Persons, there are currently more than 30,000 people missing in the country.
During Merkel’s visit she is expected to defend democracy and cooperation, and to strengthen trade and investment ties with Mexico.
At around 4:45 pm local time, the plane in which the chancellor was traveling landed at the Mexico City International Airport and was received in the presidential hangar by Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray.
The official visit started with a welcoming ceremony that began at 5:30 pm local time (2230 GMT) in the National Palace led by Peña Nieto.
The two leaders then had a closed-door work meeting, at which time the press conference was held.
Friday’s events will end with an official dinner on the occasion of the closing of the Dual Year between the two countries and in honor of the chancellor.
Merkel will have different activities tomorrow, including a business event to be led by Peña Nieto in the Interactive Museum of Economics, with the participation of representatives of German companies established in Mexico and Mexican firms.