Mexico: 2019 Highest Number of Attacks on the Press – Articulo 19


On May 26th, the organization in defense of freedom of expression, Articulo 19, presented its 2019 annual report “Dissonance: Voices in Dispute”, which records the highest number of attacks against the press ever in one year: 609 cases, including ten murders of journalists.

The ten journalists killed imply an increase of 12% compared to 2018; in addition, 99% of crimes against communicators remain unsolved and, out of 1,614 cases pending since the creation of the Special Prosecutor’s Office for this sector in 2010, only 14 sentences have been handed down.

“In 43% of the 609 attacks, public officials from the three levels of government were identified as perpetrators, especially at the state and municipal levels, and that the coverage of political and corruption-related information was 56% of the cause of the attacks”, the report states.

“After murder, journalists in Mexico were also victims of illegal entry, threats, attacks on material goods, attacks on digital communications media and computer systems, physical attacks, forced displacement, illegal communications surveillance, torture, as well as illegitimate use of the public power”, it also stresses.

Ana Cristina Ruelas of Articulo 19 expressed that at the beginning of the administration, there were expectations of change due to the presidential commitment to end censorship, due to the public apology to journalist Lydia Cacho, for the budget reduction for the hiring of official advertising; for the preparation of the diagnosis on the failures of the Mechanism to Protect Journalists and Human Rights Defenders. However, throughout 2019, “we witnessed new threats arising from stigmatization of journalistic work from the presidential rostrum.” She stated that the president “made his word an instrument and a weapon of government (and) decided to neutralize or annul anyone who sought to question his version. He confused the resistance of his adversaries and the old elites, with the rationality of those who sought to understand and report on the strategy that supports the narrative.”

Articulo 19 also reported that last year the attacks classified as “illegitimate use of public power” by the three levels of government increased by 100% due to attacks such as “stigmatization through official communication, threats of legal action and smear campaigns.”

The report raises the use of automated accounts on social networks as another point of concern, as well as “a coordinated and sustained articulation of networks to promote the image of governments, local and federal, and reduce the reach of critical and dissident voices”, reflecting in “waves of aggression” against journalists, especially women.

For more information in Spanish:

Registra 2019 la cifra más alta de agresiones contra la prensa en México: Artículo 19, SDP Noticias, 26 de mayo de 2020

AMLO hizo de su palabra un arma de Gobierno: Art. 19; condiciona el debate público y polariza, afirma, Sin Embargo, 26 de mayo de 2020

Más agresiones contra periodistas pese a expectativas con AMLO: Artículo 19, Proceso 26 de mayo de 2020

2019 registró el mayor número de ataques contra periodistas de la última década: Artículo 19, Animal Político, 26 de mayo de 2020

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Reform Of Law for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Debated in Context of Greater Vulnerability in Pandemic (May 26, 2020)

Nacional: ONU-DH condena asesinato de un defensor ambiental (Oaxaca) y un periodista (Sonora); sexta persona defensora y el segundo periodista asesinados en 2020 (May 21, 2020)

National: CNDH Demands Clarification of Crimes against Journalists in Mexico – 90% Remain in Impunity (November 8, 2019)

National/International: UNO Presents Diagnostic of Protection Mechanism of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (September 2, 2019)

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