Hell in Mexico: danger of death for journalists

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Mexico continues to be hell for journalists. Unesco warned in 2019 that the Aztec country It is the second deadliest in the world for professionals of this tradeafter Syria. The murders of those who practice information and reporting “did not stop during the last three six-year mandates (presidential mandates in Mexico) and the accursed number is growing from month to month.”

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Reporters Without Borders “placed Mexico, in 2021, 143rd out of 180 countries evaluated, concluding that” Mexico continues to be, year after year, one of the most dangerous and deadly countries in the world for the media. Despite some recent progress, the country continues to sink into the hellish spiral of impunity”.

That word, impunity, explains the drama of the situationas it involves the highest authorities of the country, unable to attack the bloody scourge.

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The term comes from Reporters sans frontières, and marked the interview moderated by the Mexican journalist Gabriel Díaz (director of Channel 24 of the University of Guadalajara) between journalists who denounce and investigate this criminal phenomenon and who also joined a former governor of the PAN (Opposition in Mexico) who was an authority when one of those assassinations took place and who was also a prominent Mexican journalist.

His intervention in the clarification of that murder, of journalist Miroslava Breach, which took place in 2017, marked a part of the interview in which he clarified once again that the expression of impunity is not an exaggeration of those who denounce this dramatic phenomenon. The murder of journalists and more: the arbitrariness of the death penalty is exercised against anyone in the country in which the narco dominates a large part of the territory.

the horrors

This denunciation debate took place in the context of the first biennial of journalism organized in Guadalajara International Book Fair by the Mario Vargas Llosa Chair.

In the midst of a silence that seemed to be one of anger or mourning, journalists such as Marcela Turati, Adela Navarro Bello, Ricardo Raphael, as well as the aforementioned journalist who was also governor, Javier Corral, recounted their own experiences as friends or companions of disappeared, threatened or killed. .

In the case of the first mentioned, working journalists, he denounced the cases where impunity is a precise word to explain why even presidential authority tends to blame those who are persecuted or killed for failing to take adequate precautions so that the bandits do not place them at the center of their threats.

The climate of the debate had that air of anger and mourning which can be explained by a capital fact: until yesterday, 156 journalists have been murdered in Mexico; Whoever was sitting there, who is a journalist and was part of the panel, suffers the condemnation that weighs down on the militants of the trade in a country where over 40% of the territory is under the command of those who manage the threat and the trigger.

In his exposition of the deadly seriousness that hangs over the profession, the moderator examined, among other things, the following data: “In the last twenty-two years, a total of 156 journalists have been murdered in Mexico, and 91 of these murders have been it occurred despite the existence of the “protection mechanism for human rights defenders and journalists”.[instrumento de apoyo a amenazados]which started working in November 2021!”.

“In this tragic and harmful context for freedom of expression in Mexico, official data from the government of the Republic warn that, currently, 495 journalists benefit from it of this ‘Protection Mechanism’, since their lives are in danger”.

Despite all this, “the violent deaths of both communicators and journalists have not ceased or decreased. In the four years of the current federal government, 36 communicators have been killed [asesinados]. While there were 47 intentional homicides recorded in the sexennium of presidents Alejandro Peña Nieto and 48 in that of Felipe Calderón.

justice absent

The moderator’s last argument provided this evidence by Reporters Without Borders and representatives of both the United Nations and the European Union after a visit to this country: “In Mexico there is 95% impunity for cases of disappearances and murders of journalists”.

Hell for the freedom to do journalism. In the faces of the presidium, as the presidential tables are called in Mexico, there was a circumspection that was only broken when, after the complaints of journalists who addressed these data from their respective mastheads, the public applauded the complaints. Reporting under fire was called table.

This reporter noted the tenor of the complaints. These are, among many others. Lack of prevention by the state. This country is now almost as dangerous as Ukraine for practicing journalism. The president of the nation stigmatizes journalists, from his daily speeches (Las mañaneras), when he does not accuse them of being the ones who do not take advantage of the protection mechanisms and therefore expose themselves to assassinations.

Journalists are not protected in territories where they are threatened, which means they have to leave their jobs, “and therefore whoever silences them wins”. Insecurity accompanies and protects corruption in Mexico. Power supports impunity, not only against journalists but against citizens in general.

It is, said Ricardo Raphael, one of the great Mexican journalists who participated, “an internal armed conflict, in which half a million militarized people participate, including children and adolescents who consider themselves useless and are exposed to murder and their death.” This hair-raising scenario has its capital in the above percentage: e40% of Mexican territory belongs to bandits.

As Raphael and his panelmates have already mentioned as full-fledged professionals of journalism, they referred to specific journalists (from the weekly Proceso or the very famous and influential Carmen Aristegui, from CNN en Español) who are indicated by President López Obrador in his morning as disaffected in his way of leading the country where impunity already seems to be a proper name.

Militarization is a fact, and demilitarization, like the one that took place in Colombia, is now a must. “There is no protection for those who are threatened, there is no judicial protection, nor independence of judges, we are already used to threats”.

They agreed when they said that “fear is being lost, but it would be good to recover it because fear warns you…” In short, Mexico is, said Mónica Turati, the journalist who confronted the former governor for the his ambiguous involvement in the assassination of Miroslava Breach, he said at the end of the meeting, and in the midst of the silence that seemed to add to the denunciation: “Where there is no journalism, death wins”. And she also said: “The fight for journalism is the fight for life.”

A thrill for commerce. A complaint against impunity. Marcela Turati, director of the Quinto Elemento Lab, a journalistic investigative laboratory, collaborator of Proceso and Neyman Report, had explained in the forum the tragic symbol of Miroslava Breach, killed while she was about to accompany her son to school and her car was inside her she. She was 54, shot eight times. It happened in the northern state of Chihuahua. The murder has never been clarified.

The fact took place in 2017. Turati underlined it as an example of the impunity with which these crimes persist in Mexico. The governor at the time responsible for the security of the area, present in the garrison, promised the journalist an interview to clarify what he did (or what he didn’t do) before, during and after that event which is now, with many others, a metaphor for the causes of fear in Mexico.

Guadalajara Mexico)

Source: Clarin

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