In three years of the current government, the requests for the attention of the Mechanism of Protection for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, which is provided by the State, has had an increase of 85 percent. This means that the perception of risk on the part of defenders or journalists has practically doubled so far this administration.
To say of Alberto Xicoténcatl Carrasco, president of the consultive advice Of this mechanism, 60% of the attacks against defenders and journalists are not committed by criminal gangs or drug cartels, but are perpetrated by institutions or public servants and it is from the authorities of the municipalities that most are committed. attacks on activists and journalists.
In this way, in this administration, 43 journalists and 68 human rights defenders have been murdered, according to information from the Ministry of the Interior itself, with data as of last July.
These references were shared by the activist during his participation this weekend at the dialogue table “We raise our voices in the face of adversity. The reduction of spaces for freedom of expression and the defense of human rights “, within the framework of the XIV Human Rights Forum which in this edition was organized by the University Center for Dignity and Justice Francisco Suárez, of the ITESO.
“We have suffered different types of aggressions because on many occasions we touch those hidden interests, or those that are tried to hide, and the work that we are developing shows them, because we expose the aggressor. That ultimately puts us in a situation of risk, “said the activist. “We are not against any political party or any official. We are in favor of the victims, truth, justice and respect for human rights, regardless of the political party or person in power (…) but it takes capacity, professionalism, initiative, so that this can be possible (an effective defense mechanism) ”, he added.
However, he acknowledged that for there to be an effective defense mechanism capable of meeting the needs of people who see their integrity or that of their relatives at risk, it is necessary to have resources. In that sense, he shared that for the mechanism to fulfill its mandate under these conditions, it requires a budget ceiling of approximately 450 million pesos.
However, he said, in the best of cases, if fiscal year 2022 is approved as it reached the Legislative, the mechanism will have 380 million, of which 150 million are committed to pay a debt for the exercise of this year, which would reduce the budget to a total of 230 million pesos. “This means that by 2022 the resource destined to protect defenders is completely insufficient,” he lamented.
Recover the notion of risk
This dialogue table also participated Leopoldo Maldonado Gutierrez, regional director for Mexico and Central America of Article 19, as well as Rossana Reguillo, Victor Hugo Ábrego and Diego Arredondo placeholder image, members of Signa Lab ITESO.
Dr. Rossana Reguillo, coordinator of Signa Lab, SNI Level III researcher and ITESO researcher emeritus, pointed out as necessary “to place a term that seems to me has become very blurred in our current vocabulary, which is the notion of risk (…) risk of the loss of institutions, of spaces, of the reduction of freedoms ”.
In this sense, he pointed out that “it is important to understand that we are facing this risk of the daily loss of density in the argued debate, that we are living a public and political agenda taken by banality, by attack and tension. Sometimes one ends the day reviewing what happened in terms of the collective debate and I am very concerned about a growing democratic disaffection and a growing authoritarianism ”.
Freedom of expression from power
Finally, Leopoldo Maldonado, regional director of Article 19, said that “they have tried to inoculate us with a fallacy” when political leaders from indistinct political factions and geographies point out and stigmatize protesters, human rights defenders, the feminist movement and journalism , “And they tell us that they are exercising their freedom of expression like any citizen, without taking into account the asymmetries of power and the responsibility that comes with having a platform like the one that heads of state and other public officials have.”
He described this as “an atrocious present”, one in which the figures of disappearances are fading the faces and the stories behind the atrocity: extrajudicial executions, torture also of a sexual nature, especially of women in State custody; the violence in prisons and through the penal system, the lack of guarantees of the processes, which, he expanded, “serves to criminalize poverty and, in some states of the country, political dissidence. And that’s the most chilling thing ”.