The growing violence against journalists in Mexico, coupled with the rhetoric of the federal government to some members of the journalistic union, have shown a security crisis for those who exercise this profession in the country, to the point that international organizations and other governments have warned about this situation.
Given this, Consult Mitofsky decided to explore what is the perception among Mexicans about freedom of the press and the condition in which journalists work in the country.
A specific question about how much Freedom of the press exists in MexicoAlmost 50% of those interviewed considered that there is “a lot” of freedom in the country.
Despite this perception of “freedom of the press”, more than half (61.2%) of the people consulted by the polling house directed by Roy Campos believed that the journalists do face a greater risk of violence than the rest of the population in Mexico.
These results reflect the condition of violence that the journalistic union is currently facing.
After UkraineMexico is considered the most dangerous country in the world to work as a journalist, as recently reported by the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch.
So far this year, the murders of 11 communicators have been recorded: José Luis Gamboa, Margarito Martínez, Lourdes Maldonado, Roberto Toledo, Heber López, Jorge Camero, Armando Linares, Juan Carlos Muñiz, Luis Enrique Ramírez, Yesenia Mollinedo and Sheila Garcia.
Protection of journalists in Mexico
Regarding the responsibility of the Government in the face of this growing violence and the protection of journalists so that they can practice their profession in the country, there are divided opinions.
At least 47% of those interviewed by Consult Mitofsky opined that the federal authorities “they do what they can” to address this situation; while 43% responded that they do not agree with this statement.
Meanwhile, a large majority (94.8%) of those interviewed believe that the government has to “protect all citizens equally regardless of what activity we are engaged in“.
While 5.1% consider that the Government should protect journalists more than the rest of the population, because they are at greater risk with their activity.
It should be remembered that on several occasions so far this year, the Undersecretary for Human Rights of the Ministry of the Interior (Segob), Alexander Encinas, has admitted that the growing violence against journalists in the country has represented a challenge for the current administration.
“It is a situation that we have to assume in the current Government and that we have not been able to overcome. The levels of violence that we have known and particularly during the first three months of this year, forces us to rethink the actions to strengthen the reaction measures against violence,” Encinas said on April 26 in Michoacán, during the signing of an agreement for the implementation of a protection mechanism for human rights defenders and journalists.
After the latest violent events in Veracruz, where two communicators, Yesenia Mollinedo and Sheila García, were murdered, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reiterated that “there is no longer any impunity” and that his government is thoroughly investigating the murders of journalists, however , insisted that the violence that is being experienced is due to the social decomposition inherited from previous governments.
“We are working every day, every day we are working like never before to protect women and all citizens. It is that there was a lot of social decomposition and there is still, there were 36 years of ignominy, “said the chief of the Executive on May 10 in his traditional morning conference, in which every Thursday he presents a report on the progress in the investigations.
Despite this position, the journalistic union and human rights defenders have warned about the constant disqualifications of President López Obrador himself against various media outlets and journalists such as Carmen Aristegui, Victor Trujillo and Carlos Loret de Mola.
Last February, Balbina Flores, representative in Mexico of the organization reporters without borders (RSF) considered that the disqualification, stigmatization, and singling out of journalists by the Mexican president and the federal government, in a country as dangerous as Mexico is for journalism, does not contribute to respect for freedom of expression or the journalistic exercise.
According to data from “Denial“, an annual report of the organization Article 19 presented in early April, violence against the press in Mexico increased 85% in the first three years of the López Obrador government compared to the same period of the Enrique Peña Nieto administration.
The report highlights that since the current chief executive assumed power in December 2018, there have been 1,945 attacks on journalists.
(With information from Maritza Pérez.)