According to a report published Tuesday (18) by the human rights organization Article 19, this year could be the most violent for journalists in Mexico. So far 18 professionals in this field have been murdered 9 of them possibly linked to the journalistic work of the victims.
“2022 could be the worst year for the press in a century,” said Leopoldo Maldonado, the NGO’s regional director.
In just over eight months, the number of deaths in 2022 has already surpassed last year’s 13 homicides and 2020’s 14. Article 19 noted that the deaths were related to the victim’s occupation in about half of the cases in 2021 and 2020, the director said.
The organization also documented a total of 331 attacks on journalists in the first half of the year, most of which were cases of intimidation and harassment. Some have also received threats, and some involve alleged abuses of public power.
This represents an increase of 51.83% compared to the first half of 2018 when former President Enrique Peña Nieto was in power.
In addition, the NGO said that four journalists were forcibly displaced within Mexico’s territory, while two others went into exile in the first half of the year. “The role played by the authorities in violence against the press clearly reflects a violation of state obligations to ensure the rights and integrity of journalists and the media,” the report added.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has repeatedly stated that his government does not attack the press and that the recent killings were carried out by criminal groups.
However, Article 19 claims that the state is behind most attacks on the press, with 128 cases recorded in the first half of the year. This is “a trend that has been constant since 2007,” the group said.