Mexico is doing nothing to protect journalists

Activists and journalists have become an easy target for criminal bands, as police forces barely offer help or are often colluded with the criminals

Mexico is doing nothing to protect journalists
A journalist's widow protests the Mexican government's inefficiency - Sáshenka Gutiérrez/EFE
English 25/07/2018 14:05 Mexico City Under Reserve Actualizada 14:07
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The actions undertaken by the federal government to protect both activists and journalists is not delivering the expected results. Yesterday, a journalist was murdered in Quintana Roo, and a few days before one had been murdered in Mexico City.

In theory, if activists and press workers are threatened, they can ask federal organisms to act according to the Human Rights Activists and Journalists Protection Mechanism. Being part of this scheme wasn't enough to keep Rubén Pat Cahuich alive; he was murdered on Tuesday morning in Playa del Carmen.

In 2017, the Playa News director had denounced that he had been threatened by the local police for revealing information that linked public officials to criminal bands.

The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) registered over 130 journalists murdered since 2000. How many were murdered by regular criminals? How many were murdered for alleged or real ties to criminal bands? How many of them were murdered because touching political fibers they didn't want to stay away from? The reasons for these deaths are ignored because the majority of the cases are nor resolved, or punished.

The indifference towards these deaths can't be attributed to the federal government only. The state governments have done very little to investigate the crimes that take place in their territory.

EL UNIVERSAL's editor, Gerardo Martínez was murdered on January 6. Almost 7 months after his death, his murderers are still free and roaming around Mexico City.

There will be incentives to continue these attacks while the homicides of journalists are archived in public offices and then forgotten. Solving these crimes is a demand that comes from international organisms even, but not even this is enough to get answers from those who have to deliver results.

This year, 10 journalists have been murdered. Every time a journalist is murdered, the citizens are denied the possibility to learn about the reality they are living in, and at the same time, their voice is diminished and is at risk of disappearing and never be heard again. Currently, free speech and democracy are suffering a major blow, which represents an immense cost for our society.


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