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Did we just hit bottom?

OPINION: Mexico now ranks as the third most dangerous country in the world to practice journalism only behind Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the International Federation of Journalists
File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
18/05/2017
09:29
Mexico City
Newspaper leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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In the coming weeks and months we will know if the situation of insecurity, threats and the death of journalists worsens or begins to change.

Seven years ago, in 2010, the Special Prosecutor's Office for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) emerged as a consequence of the situation of impunity that prevailed in the attacks against communication workers and after a special rapporteur of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights pointed out that Mexico was the most dangerous country in America at the time, and recommended the creation of a public prosecutor's office.

In the time that has passed the situation, instead of improving, has worsened. Mexico remains the most dangerous country to practice journalism in America, but now ranks third in the world only behind Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the International Federation of Journalists.

The murder of Javier Valdez, founder of RioDoce, a weekly magazine that reported the violence of organized crime, has forced the federal government to commit more decisively to actions to combat impunity in attacks on journalists.

It was announced that the structure and budget allocated to protection mechanisms for both human rights defenders and journalists will be strengthened. Since 2014, the resources for FEADLE have been cut in half.

In addition, a national coordination scheme with the 32 entities and a protocol to reduce risk situations will be implemented. The commitment was assumed by the head of the Federal Executive, the governors and cabinet members. The Supreme Court also stated that they will assume their responsibility in matters within their competence.

What would make us think that the situation will be different from now on if previous actions didn't yield any results?

The benefit of the doubt is pertinent since this was an announcement made by the Chief Executive and backed by state leaders; However, in complying with the measures, the journalists themselves must play a key role and continue to carry out their work as before; Investigating, denouncing and demanding accountability to the authority.

Only with the effective and unremitting counterbalance of the press can a situation that, until now, has only shown the terrible failure to defend freedom of expression, begin to reverse.

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