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Mexico, deadly as Syria or Afghanistan

The murders of journalists in Mexico pair it to Syria or Afghanistan even without war
Photo taken from Twitter
Diana Lastiri
Mexico City
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The murders of journalists in Mexico pair it to the level of violence lived in Syria or Afghanistan even without being at war. It ranks first among the most lethal countries to exercise journalism.

These actions remain in total impunity, that's why, aggressors feel empowered since they know they will never be prosecuted, assures Christophe Deloire, General Secretary of Reporters without Borders.

In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, he mentioned that Mexico needs concrete measures and changes, no more speeches, to protect journalists and their freedom of expression, such as the eradication of bureaucracy which permeates into the protection mechanism as well as the investigations of the Special Prosecutor's Office for Crimes against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE)

What is the level of press freedom in Mexico?

Mexico is, unfortunately, ranked 147 among 180 countries, which clearly evidences a terrible situation. It's the third deadliest place for journalists worldwide.

Six journalists have been murdered this year with no one held accountable. Where does that put us?

In Mexico, when journalists are murdered, the investigations are unsatisfactory and the level of impunity that prevails acts as an incentive for journalist murderers because they know they will never be prosecuted.

A special prosecutor's office, as well as a protection mechanism, were created to address these crimes but, unfortunately, both have proved to be dysfunctional since we have detected that both of them improvise to handle these aggressions and homicides. The measures announced by president Enrique Peña Nieto, after journalist Javier Valdez' murder, show it's not possible to continue improvising, and that concrete measures are needed.

What measures are these?

When we looked into the protection mechanism, we noticed only a few people are in charge of conducting the investigations.

The government announced the reinforcement of the protection mechanism for journalists and defenders of human rights, but there's no budget line for it. What can we expect from that? Is it possible to have a real solution?

The Government has to analyze the political burden that not establishing concrete measures and changes could convey.

Then, are we at war level?

Mexico is a country that we love, but if we look into the figures of journalist murders, it's at par with countries at war, such as Afghanistan and Syria.

As a country, are we failing our press?

When you notice the way in which authorities in charge of protecting journalists are plagued with bureaucracy, it is equitable to an “official obstacle” that affects the safeguarding of these professionals.

How can the citizenship help protect the press?

Citizenship must understand that the freedom of press and the security of reporters guarantee that they are all willing to fight for the rights of the population, that's what we should focus on.

How does the world see Mexico?

The rest of the world sees Mexico as a great country, but the levels of violence are enough to restrict the freedom of press and the right to know about society. Unfortunately, in many states, journalists are persuaded to stop looking into certain matters, unless they are willing to risk their life.

Could Mexico become a worldwide focus on crimes against journalists?

Mexico represents an example on the security of journalists, unfortunately, it is a bad one. We must say that the world knows many Mexican journalists are real heroes; I've met some of them who have left me speechless due to the high risks they are willing to face in order to dig deeper in some states, although they know they could be murdered and they are aware of the threats and the high price they could pay for complying with their duty.


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