Mexican government signs agreement to protect journalists

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  • November 4, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

The Mexican authorities have presented a mechanism for protecting journalists to stop the attacks on reporters and the media that, in the last decade, have resulted in 65 killings, in addition to 12 disappearances in the past five years, reported CNN Mexico and La Jornada.

The government has agreed to create a consultive committee comprised of the secretaries of Government, Foreign Relations and Public Safety, as well as the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) and the special prosecutor for crimes against freedom of expression, according to Proceso and La Crónica de Hoy.

El Universal said that the agreement assigns specific jobs to each committee members. For example, the Secretary of Government will coordinate tasks promoting freedom of expression. The Secretary of Public Safety, along with state governments, will be in charge of safety measures safeguarding the exercise of journalism. The CNDH will create a guide of measures to prevent aggression against the media.

In a second phase, the United Nations and three representatives from the journalism profession will be added to the committee, but without voting rights, explained El Diario de Juárez.

In a statement, the National Social Communication Center (Cencos) pointed out that this new governmental agreement does not include protection for human rights defenders and the Center warned that the document does not make it clear what will be the role of the Mexican Office of the United Nation's High Commission on Human Rights.

For more information about the violence against journalists in Mexico, see this map from the Knight Center.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.