Lawlessness no more

OPINION: Mexico, without being at war, is the third most dangerous country for journalists worldwide, only behind Syria and Afghanistan

English 16/05/2017 09:19 Mexico City Newspaper leader by EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 15:46
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Journalist and writer, Javier Valdés Cárdenas, was murdered without any knowledge of his aggressors or their motive. He is the sixth journalist killed so far in 2017, more than one each month. Javier was a chronicler who followed the activities of organized crime in Sinaloa. Like several others who seek to unveil dark interests, he received shots that left him in exchange.

Journalism in Mexico has no guarantees for its full exercise. Our country, without being at war, is the third most dangerous for journalists worldwide, only behind Syria and Afghanistan, according to Reporters Without Borders. Since the year 2000, more than 100 journalists have died in the national territory, many of whom have been behind criminal investigations of persons of political and economic power as well as organized crime.

According to civil organizations, 99.75% of the cases of reporters murdered have not been solved. Total impunity. In addition, half of those who threaten the press are public functionaries. Thus, the enemies of freedom of expression in Mexico are located both in government offices and among different organized crime groups .

The institutional strength is not enough to guarantee the safety of Mexican journalists. It is clear that the Special Prosecutor's Office for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE), which belongs to the Attorney General's Office (PGR), is insufficient to prevent threats, harassment and murders of members of the press.

In many areas of the country, journalists face structural violence promoted by organized crime; It's in those regions where the incapacity, omissions and even complicity of the authorities put the information activity in danger, showing the current results. A journalist or an information medium who denounces the activity of corrupt politicians and businessmen, as well as criminals, needs the adequate protection. That does not exist in Mexico today.

Journalism, among other things, exercises counterweights to abuses of power, corruption and impunity. The press, in any case, responds to the deepest public interest of a society. This means guild in Mexico requires less discursive solidarity and more measures from the governments that allow the full exercise of freedom of expression without fear or obstacles.

Let the painful impunity of those who have murdered journalists end, do not impose the temptation of silence. If the press is silent in the face of abuses of power, whatever it is, deep down, one of the holiest rights of the whole nation, that of freedom of expression, will have been buried.


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Javier Valdez Cárdenas Sinaloa
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