Mexico to protect journalists threatened by cartels

Mexico is considered one of the most dangerous countries for the press. His government has decided to take up the subject. He notably announced, Monday, August 9, protective measures for a journalist and a television channel threatened in a video by an armed group claiming to be one of the most powerful drug cartels.

“The government will take appropriate measures to protect journalists and media who are under threat, said on Twitter Jesús Ramírez, spokesperson for President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador. Democratic freedoms must be guaranteed as well as the right to information. “

In a recording released on social media, a man who introduces himself as Rubén Oseguera, leader of the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG), one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in Mexico – makes threats to the against the Milenio television channel and the presenter Azucena Uresti.

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Surrounded by several hooded men and armed with powerful weapons, the man demands that coverage of the conflict with other groups in the western state of Michoacán be ” fair “.

A “worrying” threat, murders of journalists unpunished

The journalist did not speak, but press freedom organizations condemned the incident and asked for the protection of the authorities.

“This repeated practice of publicly threatening the media and journalists without any shame, without any fear, is serious, because it means that these groups are strengthening themselves in the face of the passivity of the state”, warned Balbina Flores, Mexico representative of Reporters Without Borders (RSF). She urged the government to ensure the safety of reporters who have been targeted by criminal groups, but added that correspondents in conflict zones are the most vulnerable.

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For his part, journalist Héctor de Mauleón, who investigates drug trafficking, said on Twitter that this threat “Is very disturbing” and that she “Cannot be passed over in silence”.

More than 100 journalists have been killed since 2000 in Mexico, according to figures from the Human Rights Commission. This year, three journalists were murdered. The last, Ricardo López, who had reported threats in the state of Sonora (north of the country), was killed on July 22. In 2020, eight journalists were murdered, according to RSF. More than 90% of murders of reporters in the country go unpunished, denounce freedom of expression organizations.

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The World with AFP