Mexican senators approve legislation to protect threatened journalists

On Tuesday, April 24, Mexican senators approved a law requiring the Mexican federal government to offer protection to threatened journalists by providing urgent measures such as bodyguards, armored cars, bulletproof vests, locks, wireless equipment, satellite phones, camera installation, evacuation and even temporary relocation, reported the newspaper Vanguardia.

Senators unanimously approved the bill which will force the state to take responsibility for preserving the life and integrity of these professionals and their families, reported the newspaper Cronica.

The Law for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists also says that protective measures should be given within three hours of death threats being made against journalists. The Interior Ministry in conjunction with representatives of the Attorney General's Office, the Ministry of Federal Public Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Human Rights Commission and an advisory council will be responsible for offering the protective measures, according to the website Animal Político.

The approval of this law comes after Amnesty International launched the campaign "Stop Violence Against Journalists," which involves the diffusion of a video calling for the protection of reporters in Mexico, said the newspaper Vanguardia.

Mexico is considered the most dangerous countries to practice journalism in the Americas. Since 2000, most of the 74 killings of journalists remain unpunished. See this Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas map of attacks against journalists in Mexico.