This year could be the most violent on record for journalists in Mexico, according to a report published this Tuesday (18) by the human rights organization Article 19. So far, 18 professionals in the field have been murdered – of these, 9 cases may be linked to the journalistic work of the victims.
“2022 could be the worst year for the press in a century,” said Leopoldo Maldonado, regional director of the NGO.
In just over eight months, the number of deaths in 2022 has already surpassed the 13 murders recorded last year, and the 14 recorded in 2020. Article 19 found that the deaths were linked to the victims’ profession in about half of the cases in 2021 and 2020, said the director.
The organization also documented a total of 331 attacks against journalists in the first half of the year, most involving cases of intimidation and harassment. Some have also received threats, and some cases involve alleged abusive uses of public power.
This marks 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 Mexican territory, while two others went into exile in the first half of the year. “The role that the authorities play in violence against the press clearly reflects a violation of the State’s obligations to guarantee the rights and integrity of journalists and the media,” the report added.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has repeatedly said that his government does not attack the press and that the recent murders were committed by criminal groups.
Article 19, however, alleges that the state is behind most attacks on the press, with 128 cases registered in the first half of the year. This is “a trend that has been consistent since 2007,” the group said.