Chilean journalist Francisca Sandoval died days after being shot in the head while covering violent May 1 Workers' Day demonstrations in the country. The Chilean public prosecutor’s office detained three suspects, and announced that an investigation had also been opened into the police.
Family members, colleagues and national and international organizations demand justice and guarantees for a journalism free of violence in Mexico, after the murders of journalists Yesenia Mollinedo and Johana García on May 9, and of columnist Luis Enrique Ramírez, on May 5, all in the same month.
In 2018, the Association of Journalists of El Salvador presented a draft bill for the protection of journalists. After almost three years, the effort was cut short. The initiative was archived when the ruling Nuevas Ideas party took control of the Legislative Assembly. The parties that resumed the discussion at the last minute hold each other responsible for the lack of approval.
Exactly a decade ago, the government of Guatemala committed to creating a plan to protect press workers in the face of growing attacks. That happened in 2012 during a government favorable to the idea, yet all these years later, it still hasn’t been achieved. Some journalists point to a distrust between the government and the press as a source of the problem.
Four years after the social outbreak of 2018 in Nicaragua, more than 120 journalists have gone into exile, at least 20 media have been confiscated, there are no printed newspapers circulating in the country and six journalists have received sentences ranging from 7 to 13 years in prison, with fines in the millions. However, the independent Nicaraguan press continues to fight for freedom, both from inside the country and in exile.
Like other countries in the region, discussions are already taking place in Bolivia to establish a protection mechanism for journalists that would limit violence against them. For now, the projects are confidential, but the violence against journalists that launched them is visible.
As violence against journalists has increased in Latin America, several countries have created protection mechanisms designed to implement safety measures for journalists reporting attacks or threats against them.
When she found irregularities in the handling of her data, Colombian journalist Claudia Julieta Duque returned her protection mechanism. Duque denounced having since suffered at least two serious security incidents. She also condemned the lack of compliance by the part of the State with the precautionary measures granted to her by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
A data journalism study by several news organizations found that Black and Indigenous women in Brazil, in addition to being targets of misogyny and gender violence, face additional attacks online when they speak out against racism.
Monitoring carried out by the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) recorded 119 cases of gender violence against journalists in 2021 in Brazil. Of these, in 58 cases state authorities were involved – Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, took part in eight of these attacks. The survey highlights the special vulnerability of women journalists dedicated to the political editorial section, since 60% of the attacks were motivated by coverage of this topic.