National: Mexico Again Occupies First Place for Murder of Journalists 

@El Imparcial de Oaxaca

The year 2021 is characterized by a fall in the number of murders of journalists and an increase in journalists arrested in the world: 488 journalists were arrested within the period, 20% more than the previous year and 46 reporters were murdered, which constitutes the lowest figure in the last 20 years, according to the annual report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

For the third consecutive year, Mexico became the country where the most journalists were murdered with a total of seven during the year 2021, according to RSF’s annual balance, which brings the number of victims to 47 in the last five years, of whom six were female journalists. Fredy Lopez Arevalo, Manuel Gonzalez Reyes, Jacinto Romero Flores, Ricardo Lopez Dominguez, Saul Tijerina Renteria, Gustavo Sanchez Cabrera and Benjamin Morales Hernandez joined the casualty list this year.

“What is happening in Mexico is terrifying, it is once again the country with the most deaths in a year, although it is a country in theory at peace”, explained the general secretary of RSF, Christophe Deloire, coinciding with the publication of its annual balance. “Journalists who investigate drug trafficking, the underworld of a corrupt political class, are killed more frequently than in other countries. It’s sinister”, he added.

Sonora is one of the hot spots, according to RSF, a state “gangrenous from armed groups and drug trafficking” where two reporters disappeared and two others were murdered. According to the report, the total impunity enjoyed by the material and intellectual authors of these crimes explains the persistence of violence against reporters in the country.

Deloire directly targeted local authorities, whom he accused of not doing enough to stop the bloodshed. He recalled that they filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity during the terms of the two previous Mexican presidents, he pointed out that the current one, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, “has not managed to improve the situation.”

“Mexico has official bodies for the protection of journalists, either with active measures or through a special Prosecutor’s Office for crimes against them. But in reality it is just a large, very ineffective bureaucracy (…) that gets used to this situation and does little to prevent it”, said Deloire. He considered the situation of the press in that country a “hecatomb” and asked the authorities for radical measures to put an end to it.

In addition to appealing to the authorities, Deloire launched an appeal to the country’s mainstream media and journalists who work in less dangerous areas to show solidarity with those who work in higher risk states.

For more information in Spanish:

INFORMES Balance Anual 2021 de periodistas asesinados, encarcelados, secuestrados y desaparecidos (RSF, 16 de diciembre de 2021)

RSF: México vuelve a ocupar el primer lugar en asesinato de periodistas(EDUCA, 16 de diciembre de 2021)

¿Cuántos periodistas fueron asesinados en México en 2021? (Expansión política, 16 de diciembre de 2021)

RSF pide poner fin a la ‘hecatombe’ de periodistas en México (Forbes, 16 de diciembre de 2021)

For more nformation from SIPAZ:

National/International: 99% of Murders of Journalists and Activists Unpunished (November 8, 2021)

National: Mexico: 146 Journalists and Activists Murdered – Second Most Dangerous Country for Environmentalists  (October 10, 2021)

Guerrero/National: Protection Mechanism Recognizes Violence against Defenders and Journalists in La Montaña (May 5, 2021)

National/International: CSOs Warn CIDH about Situation of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (July 21, 2020)

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