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.
Mexican investigative reporter Anabel Hernández believes the mechanism for protecting journalists will never work well while impunity in crimes against journalists persists. And yet, Mexico’s president has not relinquished a discourse of hostility and intimidation towards the press.
Experts in the coverage of violent confrontations in Latin America warn of the need for comprehensive security training that involves the entire newsroom, from bosses to reporters.
The journalists who were victims of the wave of violence at the beginning of 2022 have common denominators such as being independent or working on their own native digital projects on local issues of politics, insecurity and corruption.
After López Obrador revealed what journalist Carlos Loret de Mola allegedly earns in a year, more than 64 thousand people joined a Twitter Space in which the actions of the president and the growing violence against the press in Mexico were condemned. To date, more than 1.5 million people have listened to the audio recording.
In the first month of 2022, Latin America took the lead as the deadliest region for the press, with seven journalists killed: four in Mexico, two in Haiti and one in Honduras.
Three years after personally asking the President of Mexico for protection, journalist Lourdes Maldonado was shot dead in Tijuana. She is joined by two other colleagues who died violently in the country in less than a month, which colleagues, press freedom organizations, and citizens condemned.
In 2021, 702 cases of abuse of power and violence against the press by the Daniel Ortega regime were recorded, almost double the 360 reported in 2020. Attacks on independent media outlets are in the lead, with 469 reported cases.
A group of organizations, media, and journalists from the region, have come together to create RedLEAL, Network for the Defense of Freedom of Expression in Latin America. The objective of the group is to establish a solidarity network and give visibility to under-reported cases of violations of freedom of expression in Latin America.
Latin America and the Caribbean recorded 123 homicides of journalists in the last five years. Mexico is the country with the most murdered communicators in the region and in the world, with 61 registered cases.