As many as seven journalists were killed in Latin America in 2020, with Mexico proving to be the deadliest country for investigative reporters in the region.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which monitors journalism in the region, has demanded that governments must provide security to journalists working on “dangerous assignments”.
“Local reporters covering politics, crime, and corruption face some of the greatest risks, with criminal groups responsible for the majority of journalist murders, from Mexico to the Brazil-Paraguay border,” stated Natalie Southwick, a program coordinator for CPJ in the region.
“Sadly, the common thread across the region is impunity: even as deadly violence against the press is on the rise again, authorities consistently fail to bring those responsible to justice or take the necessary steps to protect the most vulnerable reporters.”
In Mexico, journalists are dying at the hands of notorious drug gangs. In September last year, police found journalist Julio Valdivia’s decapitated body in Tezonapa, Veracruz.
Unfortunately, the Mexican government has failed miserably to bring to justice the perpetrators of the crime. Mexico is ranked sixth on the Global Impunity Index.
“López Obrador has only rarely engaged with CPJ and other press freedom and civil society organizations and has denigrated Mexico’s media in his daily early-morning press conferences, taking a page from the playbook of U.S. President Donald Trump — an attitude viewed with dismay by the country’s journalist community in light of the dangers they face,” CPJ wrote in its report.
Honduras is a similarly dangerous country for journalists. CPJ says it is investigating nine more deaths of journalists to verify whether they were murders.