Violence against journalists on the rise in Mexico

This year, Mexico is the country with more murdered journalists for exercising their profession and the seventh with more impunity for this kind of crime, as revealed by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

CPJ published its Global Impunity Index, an annual study that calculates the number of unsolved journalists numbers as a percentage in relation to each country’s population and that has shown Mexico as one of the worst countries to be a journalist. The country, with an endemic issue and an attack and crimes crisis against the press and the freedom of speech, is the most dangerous country to be a journalist, with five murders directly related to the exercise of their profession. In terms of impunity, “ it has become worse practically every year since 2008,” as asserts CPJ.

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Mexico has been 12 years in CPJ’s Global Impunity Index. It is one of the seven countries that has appeared every year since the beginning of this report and the situation has become worse: it is in seventh place this 2019 and although it had the same position in 2018, this year, the number of murders in total impunity rose to 31 out of 32; this number is accumulative in the 2009-2019 period.

Somalia is in the first place, a classification that has repeated for five years, despite its situation improving compared to 2018. It is followed by Siria, Irak, South Sudán, the Philippines, and Afganistan. After them, Mexico follows, in a list of 13 countries completed by Pakistan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Russia, Nigeria, and India. The list only includes countries with five or more impunity cases of journalists murders.

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If we are to consider only the number of unsolved murders in the last 10 years, Mexico is in second place, only under the Philippines, with 41, and over Somalia (25) and Irak (22).

According to CPJ, most part of Mexico’s danger for reporters is in the “terror campaign against media” by criminal organizations. According to the report, in the last 10 years, only one journalist’s murder has been legally solved with the responsibles punished.

CPJ’s report adds to the analysis of international organisms that criticize violence against journalists in Mexico, such as the Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders, that in its 2019 edition placed Mexico 144 out of 180, with a worse freedom score, despite climbing three spots compared to the previous year.

Courtney Radsch, Campaigns director of CPJ, said that impunity in the countries included in the index “year after year, and the knowledge of authorities not implementing efficient measures against the authors of the attacks against the press, undermine the capacity of journalists in all the world to exercise their profession.” She added that “democratic governments cannot remain silent before impunity if they want to be seen as defenders of press freedom. It is imperative for journalists and their families to be granted the justice they deserve, and for global leaders to demand accountability”.

In the last decade, until August 31, 2019, 318 journalists in the world have been murdered; 86% of the cases remain without justice for the victim and unpunished authors. According to CPJ experts, corruption, inefficient institutions, and the lack of political interest in having serious investigations are the main factor to understand impunity in the cases of murdered journalists.

Source: El Universal



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