The constant violence experienced by journalists in Mexico continues to be talked about around the world. Now it was the International Press Institute (IPI) that called on President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to put an end to the impunity that exists in the face of the “horrible murders” that the union has suffered in recent weeks. .
And it is that in a spread they published for The Washington Post, the global network for independent journalism pointed out that Mexico maintains “the deplorable status of being the deadliest country in the world for the work of journalists.” At least 150 journalists have been killed in the last 25 years, according to Death Watch.
However, two years after the end of his six-year term, during the López Obrador government, the figures of his predecessors were already exceeded. Since the beginning of 2022 alone, five journalists have been violently murdered, marking one of the darkest periods for the Mexican press in recent memory:
On January 10, José Luis Gamboa Arenas was shot in the state of Veracruz. A week later, on January 17, photojournalist Margarito Martínez was shot in the head in front of his house in the city of Tijuana. Journalist Lourdes Maldonado was murdered on January 23 in Tijuana, while cameraman Roberto Toledo was shot on January 31 in the city of Zitácuaro. And while Mexican journalists were still mourning the death of four of his colleagues, Heber López Vázquez was assassinated in Salina Cruz on February 10.
It seems that for journalists in Mexico there is no time to recover from the murders of their colleagues. “We were still reeling from the pain of our colleague’s death, and six days later, did we need to grieve for another colleague? Violence is everywhere,” Gabriela Martínez, a Tijuana-based journalist, told IPI.
“There is an alarmingly insufficient response from the authorities to the murders of journalists. In Mexico, the vast majority of crimes against journalists go unpunished, further fueling the violence. Other measures taken by the authorities remain woefully inadequate.”
Proof of the above is that among the victims there are journalists who were part of the government’s protection program, as is the case of Lourdes Maldonado, who even asked AMLO for help a few years ago in the middle of the morning conference from the National Palace.
As if that were not enough, the president has become known for his disqualifications of critical journalists. Recently, last Friday, February 11, he took advantage of his conference to discredit Carlos Loret de Mola, by publicly speculating about his income, which he described on social networks as an excessive attack and revenge for the investigation he carried out for the possible conflict of interest. between his son, José Ramón, and an oil company that rented him a mansion in Houston, Texas.
“Thugs, mercenaries (and) sold”, have been some of the adjectives used by the chief executive.
In this context, IPI urgently demanded that the Mexican authorities carry out prompt, exhaustive, and transparent investigations into the cases of murdered journalists.
“They must find all those responsible for these murders, including and especially the ultimate masterminds,” wrote Scott Griffen, deputy director of IPI.
Finally, they expressed solidarity with the families and colleagues of the victims. “Where journalists are not safe, neither is democracy,” she stressed.