The human rights crisis faced by Mexico has had serious repercussions on freedom of expression. Despite the warnings and recommendations issued by international bodies, Mexico’s federal government has taken next-to-no action on cases which have been flagged. The lack of effective, impartial and crucial investigation serves to protect perpetrators of human rights violations, and to reinforce entrenched impunity in Mexico.
It is within this context that ARTICLE 19 is presenting “Más violencia, más silencio” (“More violence, more silence”), the first bi-annual report of 2015. It highlights the difficulties that journalists face when carrying out their professional duties, which constitute violations to the right to freedom of the press and society’s right to be informed.
A total of 227 attacks against the press were recorded in the first six months of 2015, just 99 fewer than last year. The number of attacks reported during Felipe Calderón’s administration was 182 per year on average, but the number of attacks in the first six months of 2015 alone has surpassed that average by 45.
Six journalists have been murdered in Mexico since January 2015: Moisés Sánchez, Armando Saldaña and Juan Mendoza in Veracruz, Abel Bautista and Filadelfo Sánchez in Oaxaca, and Gerardo Nieto in Guanajuato.
In descending order, the states with the highest number of recorded attacks are Guerrero (38), Mexico City (33) and Puebla (29). Veracruz is still one of the most dangerous regions in the world for the press; three murders were recorded, making a grand total of 18 since 2000.
“The data on violence against the press in the first six months of 2015 categorically demonstrate that freedom of the press is under constant attack in our country.‘More violence, more silence’, the first bi-annual report of 2015 produced by ARTICLE 19 reveals the constant deterioration of our constitutional right to freedom of expression. We don’t want to focus on the numbers, per se, instead we wish to emphasise that each story should alarm us and preoccupy us,” said Darío Ramírez, ARTICLE 19’s Director for Mexico and Central America.
In the majority of cases, impunity enables the attacks to go unchecked. The authorities are obliged to guarantee that people are fully able to exercise their human rights in Mexico, yet they have failed to do so. The content of this report not only denounces a serious situation, but also highlights the administrations’ lack of will to create the right conditions for Mexicans to have access to all kinds of information and to become involved in democratic processes.
The full report can be found here (Spanish language only).
ARTICLE 19 is an independent Human Rights organisation working all over the world to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression. It takes its name from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression.
Read the report in full here (in Spanish).