{"code":"25017","sect":"Columnas","sect_slug":"columnas","hits":"195","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/en\/202011\/columnas\/25017","link_edit":"","name":"Mexican Government Must Protect Journalists, Not Endanger Them","slug":"mexican-government-must-protect-journalists-not-endanger-them","info":"","mtag":"Impunity","noun":{"html":"Duncan Tucker","data":{"duncan-tucker":{"sort":"","slug":"duncan-tucker","path":"duncan_tucker","name":"Duncan Tucker","edge":"0","init":"0"}}},"view":"195","pict":{"cms-image-000034804-jpg":{"feat":"1","sort":"34804","name":"cms-image-000034804.jpg","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000034804.jpg","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000034804.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000034804-jpg","text":"<p><em>Duncan Tucker es el jefe de prensa para las Am\u00e9ricas de Amnist\u00eda Internacional.<\/em><\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cem\u003EDuncan Tucker es el jefe de prensa para las Am\u00e9ricas de Amnist\u00eda Internacional.\u003C\/em\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"}},"pict_main__sort":34804,"date":{"live":"2020\/11\/20"},"data_post_dateLive_YY":"2020","data_post_dateLive_MM":"11","data_post_dateLive_DD":"20","text":"\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EMonday 9 November was a sad day for Mexican journalism.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThat morning, the reporter Israel V\u00e1zquez Rangel was investigating a crime scene in Salamanca, a small industrial city in the central state of Guanajuato, when armed men arrived and \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/cpj.org\/2020\/11\/reporter-israel-vazquez-shot-and-killed-third-mexican-journalist-killed-in-2-weeks\/\"\u003Eshot him at least five times\u003C\/a\u003E. He died in hospital hours later.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThen, that evening, police in the tourist city of Canc\u00fan opened fire to disperse a demonstration against the high level of femicides that plague the nation. Two journalists \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/CPJAmericas\/status\/1326014764892426241\"\u003Esuffered gunshot wounds\u003C\/a\u003E and the police beat two others during the repression of the protest.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EMexican journalism has been through too many sad days. In the 11 days before Israel was killed, another two journalists were murdered. On the night of 29 October, Arturo Alba Medina, a TV news presenter in Ciudad Ju\u00e1rez, \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/cpj.org\/2020\/11\/mexican-journalist-arturo-alba-shot-and-killed-in-ciudad-juarez\/\"\u003Edied after being shot at least 10 times\u003C\/a\u003E while he was driving home. Five days later, the reporter Jes\u00fas Alfonso Pi\u00f1uelas was shot while riding a motorbike in the northern state of Sonora and \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/cpj.org\/2020\/11\/mexican-journalist-jesus-alfonso-pinuelas-shot-and-killed-in-sonora\/\"\u003Edied instantly\u003C\/a\u003E.\u00a0\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EBesides those three dead journalists, another 135 of their colleagues have been murdered in Mexico since the year 2000, \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/articulo19.org\/periodistasasesinados\/\"\u003Eaccording to the NGO Article 19\u003C\/a\u003E. The Mexican authorities have achieved some convictions this year in the emblematic cases of Javier Valdez and Miroslava Breach, who were murdered in 2017, but the vast majority of killings go unpunished. This vicious cycle of impunity and violence has turned Mexico into one of the world\u2019s most lethal countries for journalists.\u00a0\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOf course this problem has existed since long before the current government\u2019s mandate, but that does not absolve it of its obligation to protect journalists and guarantee their rights to life and freedom of expression. Yet, instead of taking urgent and decisive measures to ensure that they can carry out their work in an environment free of violence, the government is putting them in situations of even greater risk.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn order to allocate more resources to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, on 21 October Mexico\u2019s Congress approved the elimination of 109 independent trust funds that distributed public resources to support a wide range of causes, from scientific research to natural disaster responses. The Fund for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists is among the trusts that were shut down.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThis fund was financing the protective measures granted to more than \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.gob.mx\/defensorasyperiodistas\/articulos\/mecanismo-para-la-proteccion-de-personas-defensoras-de-derechos-humanos-y-periodistas\"\u003E400 journalists and almost 900 human right defenders\u003C\/a\u003E who are under threat, providing them with access to bodyguards, satellite phones, panic buttons, armored cars and safe houses. Although we at Amnesty International have documented that these measures are \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.amnesty.org\/en\/latest\/news\/2019\/01\/mexico-state-protection-measures-were-not-enough-to-prevent-the-killing-of-environmental-defender-julian-carrillo\/\"\u003Eimperfect and sometimes insufficient\u003C\/a\u003E, the government must take great care not to weaken them even more. On the contrary, it should strengthen them through consultation with the defenders and journalists in need of protection.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists now faces an uncertain future. It will depend directly upon the Secretariat of the Interior to finance the protective measures but, as Jan-Albert Hootsen, Mexico representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists, \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/cpj.org\/2020\/10\/despite-convictions-justice-for-murdered-journalists-in-mexico-remains-abstract\/\"\u003Ehas warned\u003C\/a\u003E, the funding for these measures \u201cmay become vulnerable to political whims and the trading of favors\u201d.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EBesides the risk associated with the disappearance of the trusts, several high-ranking Mexican officials have also verbally attacked the press. President Andr\u00e9s Manuel L\u00f3pez Obrador has consistently attacked certain media outlets during his daily morning press conferences, stigmatizing journalists and \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/rsf.org\/es\/noticias\/rsf-article-19-y-cpj-piden-amlo-cumplir-con-su-compromiso-de-no-estigmatizar-el-trabajo-periodistico\"\u003Eexposing them to threats and harassment\u003C\/a\u003E. We have also seen the governors of states such as \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/articulo19.org\/como-gobernador-enrique-alfaro-esta-obligado-a-tolerar-el-escrutinio-publico\/\"\u003EJalisco\u003C\/a\u003E, \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/articulo19.org\/gobierno-de-puebla-debe-detener-desinformacion-y-bloqueos-a-periodistas\/\"\u003EPuebla\u003C\/a\u003E and \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/articulo19.org\/carta-al-gobernador-de-baja-california-preocupante-los-ataques-contra-la-prensa-y-libertad-de-expresion-en-la-entidad\/\"\u003EBaja California\u003C\/a\u003E doing the same.\u00a0\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EAccording to a \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/articulo19.org\/primer-semestre-de-2020-crecen-exponencialmente-las-agresiones-contra-la-prensa-y-continuan-los-asesinatos\/\"\u003Estudy by Article 19\u003C\/a\u003E, public officials were responsible for 199 of the 406 acts of aggression against journalists and media outlets registered during the first half of this year, while politics and corruption proved the most dangerous topics to cover. These aggressions vary from harassment and cyber attacks to displacement and killings. From January to June there was a 45% rise in aggressions compared to the same period of 2019, equivalent to an attack against the press every 11 hours. If this continues, there will be more aggressions against the press in 2020 than any year in the last decade.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThis disturbing panorama encourages self-censorship and has grave implications for press freedom, the right to information and accountability in Mexico.\u00a0\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe government must stop treating the press like an enemy. If it genuinely cares about human rights, it will recognize the importance and legitimacy of the work of journalists and take swift, concrete and effectives measures that allow them to carry it out without fear of reprisal.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\t\t\u003Cfigure class=\"pict pict_land pict_move_posc 0 cs_img cs_img--curr rule--ss_c\" data-shot=\"pict\" data-hint=\"pict\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__pobj text-overflow\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/get_img?ImageWidth=2000&ImageHeight=1704&ImageId=34804\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"Duncan Tucker es el jefe de prensa para las Am\u00e9ricas de Amnist\u00eda Internacional.\" \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__line block edge--ss_lax edge--ss_rax padd--ss_l0x padd--ss_r0x line--ss_s0b lineh rule--ss_c\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"block-inline full-width align-middle lineh__rect tint-back--nake\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cfigcaption class=\"pict__text cs_img_caption folk_content typo_buttons line--ss_s0c line--ss_s0c--auto block full-width text-overflow rule--ss_l relative\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"__content block-inline full-width align-top tint-text--idle relative\"\u003EDuncan Tucker es el jefe de prensa para las Am\u00e9ricas de Amnist\u00eda Internacional.\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cem\u003EDuncan Tucker is the Americas media manager at Amnesty International.\u003C\/em\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"}