Article 19: A Journalist is Attacked Every 17 Hours in Mexico

Latin America World

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Televisa

     A journalist is assaulted every 17 hours in Mexico, according to Article 19 (Cuartoscuro)

An assault against a journalist in Mexico is perpetrated every 17.4 hours, on the way to breaking records of reporters killed in a year, a study by the NGO Article 19 revealed on Tuesday.

In the first 6 months of the year, the non-governmental entity has accounted for 249 attacks, including 7 murders of journalists , which leads them to conclude that “the outlook for freedom of expression is discouraging” in the country. So far in 2019 there have been 10 murders, a figure that exceeds the total of 2018, year that closed with 9.
The government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has registered 11 murders, ” the NGO organization Article 19 added in its statement.

In that same period, since December 1, 2018, the total aggressions amounted to 277.

Article 19 concluded that, if this trend continues, just over four months to end the year, “2019 could be the most lethal for the press in Mexico ”.

So far, the most violent year for journalists was 2017 with 12 murders, only one more than this year.

In many cases, the State is the enemy. In 2019, 42.16% of the attacks were perpetrated by public officials. Of these, more than half , 56.19%,  were Municipal officials.

Taking into account this data, the organization considered as “a constant concern” the statements of the Federal Executive, as well as State and Municipal leaders,” which are increasingly recurring attacks on the press and seek to reduce its credibility.”
This, they considered, leads to the closure of  “information dissemination channels, inhibiting debate and putting journalists at risk”.

Beyond this observation, Article 19 assured that “until now, the level of violence against the press is similar to that observed in the second part of the six-year term of former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018)”.

Types of attacks against journalists:

The rest of the attacks were perpetrated by individuals with 47 attacks, equivalent to 18.87% of the total attacks in the first half of the year.

These are followed by those carried out by some organized crime group, with 27 cases, which represents 10.8% of the total aggressions. Finally, 47 attacks were carried out by individuals and 6 by political party militants.

By gender, 60% of the attacks in the first half of the year were perpetrated against male journalists, while 22% were against female journalists and 18% against the media.

In the case of male journalists, the most frequent attacks were death threats, with 38 cases. Women journalists frequently suffer acts of intimidation and harassment. 10 of the 56 attacks against women journalists have a clear gender component.

In territorial terms, the five states that registered the highest number of attacks against the press were Quintana Roo, with 26; Mexico City and Guerrero, with 22 each; and Oaxaca and Veracruz, with 19 each.

The last four states have remained since 2013 as the most violent in the country for journalists.

The increase in aggressions in Quintana Roo, which went from 12 to 26 aggressions, in the same period, from one year to the next is worrying. It should be noted that in this state there have already been two murders of journalists ”,  observed Article 19.

The organization concludes its report pointing out that “almost one year after the start of the Administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), it is essential to generate the conditions to counteract the violence against journalists.”


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