The number of journalists killed in the pursuit of their profession has risen from 15 in 1986, 26 in 1987, 27 in 1988, 53 in 1989 (35 in Latin America, mostly El Salvador, Columbia and Peru), 32 in 1990, 66 in 1991, and 49 in 1992 (distributed by country as 11 in Turkey, 8 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 4 each in the Philippines and Tajikistan, 3 in each of Chad, India and Peru, 2 in each of Lebanon and Venezuela, and 1 in each of Angola, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Croatia, Egypt, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, Sudan and USA). In the first 11 months of 1993, 45 instances of killings of journalists were recorded which governments were reluctant to investigate impartially.
Dangerous locations for journalists shift. Eleven of the 26 killed in 1987 were in the Philippines and 4 in Sri Lanka. After a lull since the end of the Vietnamese war, 1993 saw the deaths of five Vietnamese-born journalists, although the general low level of press attacks in the totalitarian countries of Southeast Asia is ascribed to the fact that they have so little freedom to get into trouble. Fewer journalists were killed in 1992 in Latin America as authoritarian regimes gave way to multi-party systems, although Columbia, Guatemala and Haiti remain particularly dangerous places. In fact, Europe and the former Soviet republics have overtaken Latin America as the most lethal region for journalists: thirty have been killed in the Balkan war, nine in 1991, most apparently in combat, some were targeted. In 1992, eleven journalists were killed in south-eastern Turkey, and four in Tajikistan. However, it is virtually impossible to rank countries by degree of press freedom because it is often easier to learn about attack against journalists in countries with relatively few limits on the press. For instance in 1992, Israel, the USA and India ranked relatively high, even though they have democratic systems and relatively open and contentious press. The most repressive regimes often have the fewest number of documented attacks, and those undergoing transitions to democracy often have the most. The 55 attacks listed for China in 1992, the 22 listed for Guatemala, and the six listed for Syria cannot begin to fully capture the daily acts of subjugation and self-censorship to which journalists were subjected.
In 1999, 34 journalists were killed around the world in the course of their work; 10 of them in Sierra Leone, where rebel forces targeted reporters.