You are currently viewing Urging changes in the mechanism of protection of journalists in Mexico

MEXICO CITY mexican state You are bound to guarantee the life, integrity, freedom and security people who are at risk due to the Journalistic Exercise and of the freedom of expression.

Both international treaties and the Mexican Constitution is established this human right: the freedom to disseminate ideas, opinions and information by any means.

Moreover, it is a social right, as it is directly related to the balance of power, the construction of a democratic society and the right to request information from the government. However, the Mexican government, from municipal, state and federal, are failing to guarantee this security, community and human right.

The Ministry of the Interior operates Persons Protection Mechanism Human Rights Defenders and Journalists at Risk, Which it was implemented during the administration of Felipe Calderon, governmental period where most murders of Mexican journalists have been (48 cases); aggression and extreme violence against the union have continued with the passage of time to the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

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In addition, journalists who have been attacked or threatened not trust local government or the federal and simply do not come to ask for the necessary protection.

A bureaucratic mechanism

Last January, the murder of Lourdes Maldonado, a journalist in Tijuana, who was protected by the state mechanism Baja California, left in the environment that mechanisms are failing effectively (note: bit.ly/3sKyI4j), told Debate Balbina Flores, representative in Mexico of Reporters without Borders (RSF), based in Paris. She notes that it is necessary to make a thorough review of these mechanisms.

For example, said that the Law on Protection of Journalists indicates that once a request for help, but may take authority are eight hours to provide protection or have a contingency plan to prevent aggression is received, without But in reality, Flores says, “sometimes it takes months to make a risk analysis. There is a lag, the Mechanism is exceeded in their human, and that makes responses are slower because there are number of petitioners and emergencies “.

Explains that end, the federal mechanism relies on local authorities to respond immediately with protection, but these in turn are unfamiliar with the issues of freedom of expression and support journalists.

An example is the case of the photojournalist Margarito Martinez, also murdered in Tijuana in January, who had sought safety; However, it is known that the state authority sent this request to the federal and, in turn, the federal answered Margarito sending a series of documents to complete and process protecting him. “Someone told me, who killed Margarito: bureaucracy,” he said.

Balbina Flores believes that it was the responsibility of the federal mechanism having monitored the call Margarito because, unless the journalist resume the process, the mechanism does too, when it should to follow up on every request for help.

With this shows that greater lack internal coordination and there is an inability for immediate response, he said.

Currently, the federal mechanism operates with 388 million pesos, slightly more than last year, explained Balbina Flores, federal instance where about 39 people work, however, stresses that this is not enough and that experience in administrations past , to operate better should at least 500 million pesos devoted to this end. He also reported that hiring more personnel, which have not yet been notified if it was authorized was requested.

According to Jan-Albert Hootsen, representative in Mexico of the Committee oenegé to Protect Journalists, the flaws in the federal mechanism and state are a limited way to analyze the problem of violence against journalists, because since the mechanism is not possible to combat impunity, which is at the level of prosecutors and police.

The representative of the international NGO founded in the United States indicated that they have documented that at the least 10 journalists were welcomed to the federal mechanism and have been killed, but stressed that if only adjustments are made in the protection mechanism but this is coming accompanied by improvements in the justice system will not be possible to prevent further crimes.

The data

Demand

The federal government has indicated that demand has grown requests for protection of journalists in more than 60% because there is more confidence, in contrast, RSF sees what happens is that more attacks on the press.

Protection

In 2012, he created and implemented the Mechanism of Protection for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, which protects 496 journalists, of whom 137 are women and 359 are men.

Mechanism

It is a federal agency under the Ministry of the Interior, which has the mission of protecting defenders of human rights and journalists are being attacked because of their work.

Journalists

The law considers protecting journalists individuals, media and public outreach, community, private, independent college, experimental or any kind whose job is to collect, generate, process, edit, comment, review, disseminate, publish or provide information through any media and communication that can be printed, radio, digital or image.

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Team

National coordination is composed of a receiving unit and Rapid Reaction Case and a Risk Assessment Unit and other Prevention Unit, Monitoring and Analysis.

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