Mexico vows to protect journalists as attacks against them increase

26/03/2019
|
14:34
|
Reuters
Mexico vows to protect journalists as attacks against them increase
Since December 2019, at least six journalists have been murdered - Photo: Shenka Gutiérrez/EFE

Mexico vows to protect journalists as attacks against them increase

26/03/2019
14:34
Reuters
Mexico City
Daina Beth Solomon, Noe Torres, Lizbeth Diaz
-A +A
Human rights organizations have criticized the program for not ending the attacks or punishing the people responsible for them

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On Monday, a Mexican official said the government would strengthen measures to protect journalists, one day after a sports reporter was murdered in the northern state of Sinaloa.

Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for reporters, with at least 124 media workers murdered since 2000, according to rights group Article 19.

Since December, at least six journalists have been killed, when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office, said Alejandro Encinas, the deputy interior minister for human rights.

Of those six, just one was part of the government program, called the Mechanism of Protection for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists. Formed in 2012, the program includes panic buttons, surveillance systems, and bodyguards for journalists who face threats connected to their work.

Encinas said 790 people are under the program’s watch, including 292 journalists and 498 human rights activists.

Human rights organizations have criticized the program for not ending the attacks or punishing the people responsible for them. Journalist deaths rose each year between 2013 and 2017, including people within the program.

Nine media workers were killed in 2018, according to Article 19.

“The mechanism has fundamentally reactive measures, they don’t address prevention,” Encinas said at López Obrador’s daily news conference. “We are going to fully assume our responsibility.”

Encinas said the government would seek more funding to account for a growing number of applicants, without specifying the amount. He said the people responsible for the killings may include government officials.

“This goes from people connected to criminal groups, to even authorities from various parts of government,” Encinas said of the suspects.

On Monday, the Sinaloa state prosecutor’s office said it opened a homicide investigation into the killing of reporter Iván Camacho. The 36-year-old was found dead Sunday night on a highway in the state, which has seen extensive violence from warring drug cartels.

Artículo

Sports journalist murdered in Mexico

Several other journalists has been murdered in 2019 alone, and dozens of them have been murdered in Mexico in the last decade
Sports journalist murdered in Mexico Sports journalist murdered in Mexico

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