By Ines Amarelo
Mexico City, Jan 25 (EFE).- Thousands of journalists from all the states of Mexico demonstrated Tuesday to demand justice for the recent murders of informants and the end of violence against the press in one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a reporter.
The national protest was in response to the most recent murder, that of journalist Lourdes Maldonado, shot next to her home in the city of Tijuana. She was under the Protection Program for Journalists in Baja California after a legal problem she had with former Governor Jaime Bonilla, of the ruling National Regeneration Movement.
She had attended the usual morning press conference of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in March 2019 for fear she could be killed.
The mobilizations took place in up to 47 cities throughout the country, filled with desperate cries in face of the incessant violence against journalists the country is experiencing and that has increased since the president’s arrival in office.
The demonstration in Mexico City was one of the largest, with hundreds of journalists protesting in unison in an unprecedented call in Mexico, and they did so in front of the building of the Interior Ministry.
According to data from Article 19, since the year 2000, 143 journalists have been murdered in the country, 28 of them during Lopez Obrador’s presidency.
“Violence against the press is one of the historical problems that (Mexican) society has faced and unfortunately it is on the rise,” Article 19 communication officer Juan Vazquez told EFE at the Mexico City rally, adding that “the actions of the state are not enough, a good will is not enough.”
Both the federal system and the state programs have been overwhelmed by the attacks, homicides and continued violence to which many of the country’s informants are subjected, since Article 19 says that every 12 hours an attack on the press is recorded in Mexico.
As in the case of Maldonado, Yanely Fuente, a displaced journalist from the state of Guerrero also under the federal Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, said she doesn’t feel safe.
“Unfortunately we have a president who puts on a whole show in the ‘mornings’ and uses a stigmatizing speech. From there he is legitimizing anyone who threatens us,” Fuentes said.
Maldonado, a correspondent for Noticias Televisa and a collaborator in various media, is the second journalist murdered in Tijuana in 2022, after photojournalist Margarito Martinez, shot to death on Jan. 17 when he was getting into his vehicle at his home.
The Security Cabinet of the Government of Mexico reported Tuesday that by “presidential instruction” it sent a specialized team to the city of Tijuana, state of Baja California, to support the investigations into the murder of two journalists registered last week.
Beyond those mentioned, on Jan. 10, journalist Jose Luis Gamboa Arenas, director of the digital media Inforegio, where he disseminated problems of insecurity and politics, was assassinated in Veracruz, a state in eastern Mexico. EFE