While reporters don helmets to cover violent protests in Nicaragua, human rights and press organizations are calling on the international community to pay attention to attacks on journalists and news media amidst protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega.
Cybersecurity, legal shields and working in alliances are some of the fundamental factors to consider when conducting journalistic investigations on corruption issues in Latin America, according to speakers on the Corruption Coverage panel, held during the 11th Ibero-American Colloquium of Digital Journalism in Austin, Texas on April 15, 2018.
Before strong criticism of its inefficiency, and the escalating number of attacks and murders of journalists and human rights defenders that Mexico has experienced in the last almost two decades, the Advisory Council for the Mechanism for the Integral Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico City was finally implemented. The council will seek to make this system in the country’s capital more efficient.
The Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) announced on Jan. 24 that members of the organization will investigate the murder of radio journalist Jefferson Pureza Lopes, who was shot dead on Jan. 17 in the city of Edealina, in the state of Goiás.
In Mexico, journalists live under the terror of violence and although the government has created mechanisms to protect these professionals, impunity and insecurity continue in the country. These are some of the conclusions of David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Edison Lanza, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), after a one-week mission to Mexico.
Following the October murder of Mexican photojournalist Edgar Esqueda in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, a cellphone video sent to a former police officer spread on the internet. It showed Esqueda, bound and on his knees, offering the names of crime reporters at newspapers across the state. In response, San Luis Potosí Gov. Juan Manuel Carreras ordered immediate protection measures—a police patrol car for every reporter named in the video.
Colombia’s Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP for its acronym in Spanish) rejected threats against journalists Jineth Bedoya Lima and Salud Hernández Mora, as well as political and social leaders, allegedly proffered by a block of the illegal armed group Águilas Negras. The organization also demanded that authorities guarantee protection so that the journalists can continue with their work.
“It’s been 17 years of this red accounting (cuenta roja) in which we have not stopped counting the number of journalists killed. There are 109, and a good part of them in the last two administrations,” said Daniela Pastrana, director of Mexican journalists organization Periodistas de a Pie. “But the counting began, paradoxically, with the start of the democratic transition. That is one of the things that I still cannot explain.”
Mexican journalist Cándido Ríos Vázquez was killed in southern Veracruz on Aug. 22, 2017 despite being under the federal government program to protect journalists.
Valuing journalistic work in Mexico, ending impunity of attacks against journalists and strengthening the guild are the preliminary objectives of the participants of the working groups of the #AgendaDePeriodistas initiative, which seeks to create an organization and a working plan to combat violence against the press in that country.