Press freedom groups pull out of assembly to form journalist protection fund in Mexico

A group of Mexican civil society organizations decided to pull out of the assembly to form the Fund for the Protection of Human Rights Advocates and Journalists because of a lack of transparency in the process to elect candidates to the advisory council, according to the newspaper El Economista.

Last June, Mexican President Felipe Calderón signed a law ordering federal authorities to protect threatened journalists and human rights activists. The Law for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists requires the creation of an advisory council responsible for offering protective measures .

However, nearly 20 human rights organizations issued a statement criticizing the Secretary of Government for naming the council's members without disclosing the selection criteria. Protesting organizations are demanding new criteria, including the publication of names and histories of the organizations, human rights advocates, and journalists nominated to the advisory council, and that the assembly be observed and monitored by the press and other interested organizations, according to the Center of Social Communication.

Dissenting organizations included the press freedom group Article 19, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, and the Journalists' Rights House.

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.