Press groups say Mexican government’s journalist safety measures aren’t enough

  • By Guest
  • November 5, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

Several journalist and freedom of expression organizations criticized the press protection measures used by the authorities, which they said lack the resources and scope to attack the problem at its roots, El Diario de Juárez reports.

Mexico is considered one of most dangerous countries in the world to be a journalist, and international and domestic groups have urged the federal authorities to implement concrete media worker protection measures.

Since the beining of the year, the government and several organizations have been discussing the creation of a journalist protection protocol, but groups like Article 19, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), the National Center for Social Communication (Cencos), and the Center for Journalism and Public Ethics (CEPET) say that it has been months since a meeting or consultation on the matter, La Jornada explains.

The criticisms of the protocol include: the failure to allocate a dedicated budget, that the guidelines are being written solely by the authorities, and that the protocol puts journalism protection mainly in the hands of local governments.

Drug trafficking-related violence has left its mark on the Mexican press and has seriously harmed freedom of expression. (For some examples, see see this Knight Center map on violence against journalists in the country.)

Organized crime groups also have renewed their efforts to control media content, to the degree that several local newspapers – under threat of violence – have published “press releases” from criminal groups like Los Zetas, Mike O’Connor writes for the GlobalPost.

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.

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