The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists for media freedom, today called on Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and the country’s president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to put an end to violence against journalists.
López Obrador, leader of the left-wing MORENA party, won Mexico’s July 1 presidential election amid unprecedented levels of violence in the country. A former mayor of Mexico City, he will take over as president in December of this year.
As many as 10 journalists have been killed since the election campaign began in September 2017. All those journalists appear to have been targeted for their work. In no case have the killers been brought to justice.
“Mexico has become a graveyard for journalists”, IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi said, urging President Peña Nieto and President-elect López Obrador to join hands in protecting journalists.
“The impunity with which journalists are being slaughtered makes the country one of the worst places for media professionals to work in the world.”
Congratulating López Obrador on his win and recalling his campaign promise to fight against corruption, Trionfi noted that, according to IPI’s Death Watch, almost all journalists killed in Mexico over the past several years were targeted for exposing corruption and gang-related violence.
“If Mr. López Obrador wants to make a real change and fight corruption, he has to ensure safety of journalists”, she said. “Independent media is the cornerstone of democracy and a fight against corruption cannot be won in the absence of fearless journalism.”
The Vienna-based IPI was set up by editors, media executives, journalists and academics in 1950 to safeguard media freedom and journalist safety. For more than six decades, IPI has carried out press freedom missions to countries where the press is under threat by both state and non-state actors.
List of journalists killed in Mexico since September 2017
1. Alicia Diaz Gonzalez on May 25, 2018
2. Carlos Domínguez Rodríguez on January 13, 2018
3. Hector Gonzalez Antonio on May 29, 2018
4. Juan Carlos Huerta on May 15, 2018
5. José Guadalupe Chan Dzib on June 29, 2018
6. Leobardo Vazques Atzin on March 21, 2018
7. Pedro Damián Gómez found dead on February 13, 2018
8. Edgar Daniel Esqueda Castro on October 6, 2017
9. Gumaro Pérez Aguilando on December 19, 2017
10. Juan Carlos Hernández Ríos on September 5, 2017