The Brazilian government announced the creation of the National Observatory of Violence against Journalists, a demand from organizations defending press freedom and journalists. National Secretary of Justice, Augusto de Arruda Botelho, told LatAm Journalism Review (LJR) that the creation of the new body was motivated by the "escalating violence" against journalists in the country.
A little more than a month after the departure of President Pedro Castillo, the Peruvian press has experienced more than 70 cases of aggressions including beatings, insults and vandalism of equipment and facilities by demonstrators, as well as threats, obstruction of coverage and even an attack with rubber bullets by police officers.
At least 12 journalists were physically assaulted, robbed or threatened with death by groups of Bolsonarists while covering the terrorist acts perpetrated by supporters of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro on Jan. 8 in Brasilia. Thousands of them stormed and vandalized the National Congress, the Planalto Palace and the Supreme Court in the face of inaction by police officers present, who in more than one case also refused to help journalists.
At least half a dozen journalists were victims of theft, intimidation and obstacles to carry out their work by members of organized crime during the wave of violence unleashed on Jan. 5 in the capital of the state of Sinaloa following the arrest of Ovidio Guzmán, son of "El Chapo."
Twenty-nine journalists and communicators were murdered in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2022, according to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) counted up to Dec. 21. This represents a 163 percent increase over 2021. Mexico and Haiti lead the ranking of murders of press professionals.
Fifteen journalists from digital outlet El Faro of El Salvador have filed a lawsuit in a U.S. court against NSO Group, the Israeli company that makes the Pegasus spyware. “It is necessary to set a precedent so that the companies that promote this espionage market, as well as the customers that run this program, know that their actions have consequences,” said Julia Gavarrete, one of the journalists from El Faro who filed the lawsuit in U.S. courts.
With the murder of Pedro Pablo Kumul on Nov. 21 in Veracruz, at least 17 members of the press have been murdered in Mexico in 2022. Journalists and organizations demand justice and agree that only the correct administration of justice can stop the bloody wave that threatens journalism in that country.
Guatemalan journalist Michelle Mendoza, a CNN correspondent, has been in exile for six months after years of being harassed and threatened because of her journalism. Even while outside of Guatemala, she continues to receive calls and messages with the intention of intimidating her and keeping her from returning. In this interview, she discusses her situation and the harassment she has suffered.
One journalist murdered, another shot at and another arrested and beaten by the police are the latest victims of a wave of violence against the press in Haiti, a country where eight journalists have been killed so far this year. At the same time, the social-political crisis and poverty are slowly suffocating the Haitian media.
A forensic and journalistic investigation found evidence of spying with Pegasus spyware against journalist Ricardo Raphael and a colleague from Animal Político by the Mexican Army, an institution that has seen its power grow considerably during the López Obrador administration.