Over the past two decades, Mexico has seen consistent increases in the frequency and intensity of violence targeting journalists (periodistas). The author establishes that targeted violence against the community has increased, with relative impunity. Relative impunity has been made possible by the lack of resources as well as state actors initiating more than half of the documented cases. The Violence takes multiple forms: ranging from threats to beatings, kidnappings, and murder. These actions have facilitated an environment of suppression and self-censorship by Mexican journalists. Organizations such as the Journalists Without Borders have ranked Mexico at the bottom for freedom of expression. Efforts have been made by the Mexican federal government to try and protect as well as compensate victims and their families. The author details aid programs backed by state actors such as the United States and non-state organizations such as Reporters Without Borders (JWB). However, these efforts to address the abuses have been slow to unfold and face unsure processes because agents within the state are perpetrating much of the violence. Counter efforts are sluggish and have resulted in a few real protections due to nonworking panic systems and surveillance and an inability to rely on local law enforcement systems. Also, reforms within the Mexican Judicial system have made prosecution even harder to seek; therefore, the environment of impunity continues to hold freedom of expression and criticism hostage.
The Author, Clare Ribando Seelke is a Latin American Affairs specialist for the Congressional Research Service. The CRS is highly regarded for their research and analysis, informing governmental policies and operations. The source provides an excellent summary of the human level impacts as well as the efforts by state and non-state actors to rectify the issue. The article is however designed to provide background information and inform on the effects of US aid efforts. It does not speculate as to possible long-term actions or outcomes.
The source provides a good starting point from which to explore in greater depth the impact of journalist killings in Mexico, and lists that contain a starting point for comparison between countries within the region as well as across the world. Sources cited within the article also provide an excellent and recent list of readings that will provide further analysis of the problem.
The image was “snipped” from a separate article by the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA). It depicts a sign that states “truth is being killed along with the journalists.” In encapsulates the importance of the issue to both regional politics as well as human rights to freedom of expression. The image captures what is at stake for both journalists as well as