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United against attacks

Journalists and news outlets unite due to the low efficiency of the State in protecting the members of the press
Protests against attacks on journalists - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
04/12/2017
08:49
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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As part of the violence which has affected several regions of the country, journalists have also been targets of criminal groups within the last decade, yet this year has surpassed previous records, becoming the period with more journalists killed in the history of Mexico.

Journalists and human rights activists have demanded more protection and crime investigation to the three levels of government but their demands haven't been heard.

Today, the special rapporteurs on freedom of expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the United Nations will present a report on Mexico's situation, as well as the follow-up on the recommendations said organizations made seven years ago. Given the number of attacks against journalists, the findings of both organizations will most certainly not be flattering. Edison Lanza, the special rapporteur of the IACHR has a very clear idea of how this problem should be tackled: “The best policy is the one in which the State adopts investigation as a prevention measure.”

Precisely, the lack of investigation causes impunity, which is the seal branding most murders, attacks, and threats against journalists. The message sent to anyone who feels under attack by the right of freedom of speech of the press is that it's easy to silence the speaker without fear of punishment.

The Federal Government implemented in 2012 a mechanism to protect journalists yet this isn't enough if there is no follow-up to the causes which lead journalists to request protection.

Despite the insistence, the situation of threats and attacks hasn't changed. The defenselessness members of this union are in, mainly outside Mexico City, has led 37 news outlets to announce – in a document published today – the implementation of a joint strategy to prevent attacks against journalists and media, and a workgroup will establish the actions to be taken on the short, medium and long-term.

The lack of efficiency of the State to protect the press and investigate murders against journalists hasn't left news outlets with many choices, except leave behind the demands and take action, while municipal, local, and federal authorities meet the demands of security requested across the country. We've had enough of impunity.

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