Photo: David Villasana/Unsplash

By KELIN DILLON

In the first 32 months of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) six-year term, 21 journalists have been assassinated in Mexico — up 31.2 percent from the comparable figure for the previous administration of former President Enrique Peña Nieto, which experienced 16 homicides in its first 32 months.

According to British human rights organization Article 19, which promotes freedom of press and access to information, there is at least one attack on the press every 13 hours in Mexico, which has only been bolstered by AMLO’s new weekly “Who’s Who in Media Lies of the Week” segment, which publicly lambasts any publications that speak out against him.

“Mexico is the most dangerous country to practice journalism in the Americas, and one of the most dangerous in the world,” said Leopoldo Maldonado, regional director of Article 19, who also said the country’s violence against the press is “at the level of countries that are in open war, such as Syria or Afghanistan.”

Likewise, attacks on the press have doubled under AMLO, with 1,301 recorded from January 2019 to December 2020, while there were only 656 attacks total during the same 24-month period at the beginning of Peña Nieto’s term, representing a massive 98.32 percent spike. 

According to Article 19, 98 percent of murders and assaults against the Mexican press never achieve justice, showing clear impunity for the aggressors and a disregard of the issue by the government.

“It is clear to us that this is not a priority for the government and we must make it a priority. The protection of journalists must be guaranteed and impunity must be abated,” said Maldonado.

 

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