The Mexican State has a duty
to guarantee effective protection for journalists.

Berlin, February 2, 2022—It has been a bloody January. With José Luis Gamboa in Veracruz, Margarito Martínez and Lourdes Maldonado López in Tijuana, and Roberto Toledo in Michoacán, four Mexican journalists have already been murdered since the beginning of the year. Thus, in the year 2022, the trend to increasingly repress freedom of expression and freedom of the press with violence continues. The human rights organization Artículo 19 has reported that, since 2000, at least 148 journalists have been killed for reasons linked to their work. In recent years, in no other country in the world have so many media workers died, victims of assassination. Moreover, very few cases are ever solved.

“Impunity kills,” stresses investigative journalist Marcela Turati. “The fact that more than 90% of the  murders are not solved is an invitation to all those who want to silence a journalist.” Crimes must be  investigated independently and investigations must focus on the exercise of the journalistic  profession, Turati stresses. “This is what we have been demanding for many years. Most of the time  they only start investigating when there are public protests.” Last week, in many Mexican cities,  journalists took to the streets to demand an end to violence against them and for greater protection.

Those who investigate drug cartels or state corruption face intimidation, threats, public smear  campaigns, as well as illegal surveillance by organized crime or state agencies. “The Mexican state  must investigate crimes, protect journalists effectively and allow them to practice their profession  without fear,” says Françoise Greve of the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico.  “Germany’s new government and members of parliament must put the effective protection of  journalists and press freedom as a priority on the agenda of the bilateral talks and demand its implementation.”

The state mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders and journalists, created in 2012,  does not have sufficient funding, technical equipment, or adequate personnel. Journalist Lourdes  Maldonado López, murdered in Tijuana in January, had been included in the protection program;  however, this did not help her. Because of her articles on corruption cases at the local level, she was  repeatedly threatened, among others, by politicians as well. In 2019, during one of her morning press conferences, she told President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of her fear of being murdered.

At the beginning of his term, López Obrador promised to support freedom of press and human  rights. However, his relationship with the media has fractured. The president regularly lashes out at media and journalists who are critical of his government, accusing them of ignorance or corruption. In this way, he himself fuels a hostile climate against the journalists’ guild. Since López Obrador’s inauguration

Contact us for more information:

Tobias Lambert, Press and Communication, German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico, Tel: +49  (0)157717308 – 93/

The German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico is a network composed of:

Pastoral Work for Latin America Adveniat, Amnesty International Germany, A.C., Carea A.C.,  Franziskaner Helfen, Missionszentrale der Franziskaner, Compañer@s de México del Sur A.C., Initiative  for Mexico of Cologne and Bonn, Initiative Mexiko (INI-MEX), México via Berlin A.C., Obra Episcopal  MISEREOR, Ecumenical Office for Peace and Justice A.C., Pacta Servanda A.C., Bread for the World, pax  christi / One World Commission, German Jesuit Mission Procure, Promovio, Casa del Mundo Bielefeld,  and Zapapres A.C.

English translation: Alexandra Gulden, Quixote Center