On April 5th, the organization in defense of freedom of expression Article 19 presented its 2021 report entitled “Denial”. In it, it documents that in 2021, in Mexico, an attack against the press was recorded every 14 hours with a total of 644 attacks recorded throughout the year. Of these attacks “the Mexican State was involved in two out of every five attacks, while the issues most linked to violence against journalists were corruption and politics with 285 attacks”, it stressed.
With these data, the three years of government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador amount to 1,945 attacks against the press, among which are 30 murders of journalists and two disappearances. This represents “almost 85% more attacks against the press than the first three years of the previous president, marking the most violent period against the press on record.” In addition, the report indicates that in 2021 “the tendency to deny and disappear problems related to human rights from public discourse was consolidated”, hence the title of the report.
Leopoldo Maldonado, regional director of the Article 19 Office for Mexico and Central America, explained that “this denial translates into official disinformation, public stigmatization of the press, discretion in the allocation of official advertising, deception in the transparency system, violence against the press, digital divide, and human rights violations, which violate freedom of expression.”
Regarding the stigmatization of the press, the report states that during the morning conferences “on at least 71 occasions, an average of almost six times a month, the head of the Federal Executive himself or other members of the government reviled the press.”
The report also exposes the discretionary nature of official advertising spending, “which is an obstacle to media plurality.” Preliminary data show that La Jornada, Televisa and TV Azteca represent 33% of all social communication spending by the current administration.
The report concluded that “although there has been some progress on the issue of human rights violations”, “policies continue to be proposed in a dissociated manner. The federal government uses dates and spaces that are associated with repression by the State to advance a narrative of commitment to human rights and difference with previous governments. However, human rights violations continue, and some of them even increased under the current administration.”
Finally, Article 19 presented its Minimum Agenda 3.0, a list of 36 urgent actions on freedom of expression and information, among which they highlight “eliminate the discretionary and arbitrary use of official advertising as a resource for indirect control of news lines media”, “develop a public policy of comprehensive protection to guarantee the exercise of freedom of expression for journalists” as well as “combat impunity for attacks against the press and guarantee the right to the truth”, among other aspects.
For more information in Spanish:
“Negación”: el nuevo informe de Artículo 19 (Sin Embargo, 8 de abril de 2022)
Así es el estado de libertad de expresión y respeto a los derechos humanos en México (CNN, 8 de abril de 2022)
Histórica, violencia a prensa (El Universal, 6 de abril de 2022)Negación: informe anual 2021 sobre libertad de expresión e información en México
Con AMLO incrementan 85% los ataques contra la prensa: Artículo 19 (Animal Político, 5 de abril de 2022)
Negación: informe anual 2021 sobre libertad de expresión e información en México (Artículo 19, 5 de abril de 2022)
For more information from SIPAZ
National: AMLO Attacks Article 19 – Over 160 Organizations Defend Its Work (April 6, 2021)
National: Attacks on Journalists Increase by 45 %, Article 19 (September 16, 2020)
Mexico: 2019 Highest Number of Attacks on the Press – Articulo 19 (May 28, 2020)