New York, (EFE).- Latin America, led by Mexico, was last year the world’s deadliest region for journalists, according to the 2022 report released Tuesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ, acronym in Spanish). in English).

Only Ukraine, with 15 reporters killed, exceeds the figure for Mexico (13 murdered), and Mexico is followed by Haiti, where seven reporters were killed.

In total, 30 Latin American journalists died violently last year, which is almost half of the 67 who died worldwide.

Opponents demonstrate in favor of Press Freedom in Caracas (Venezuela). Stock image. EFE/Miguel Gutierrez

In turn, those 67 violent deaths represent a 50% increase from the previous year, and is the highest number since 2018, something that “indicates a precipitous decline in press freedom,” said Jodie Ginsberg, CPJ president, in the statement where the report was released.

“Covering politics, crime and corruption can be just as deadly or more deadly than covering a full-scale war,” Ginsberg mused, comparing the death toll in Ukraine to the rest of the world.

Although the 67 registered are killed with violence, CPJ points out that it is aware that 41 of them died “in direct connection with their work”, while the motive for the other 26 deaths is being investigated.

A group of journalists, cameramen and photojournalists demonstrate in Cali (Colombia), in a file image. EFE/CHRISTIAN ESCOBAR MORA

An important detail is that the vast majority of victims worked for local media outlets that cover news from their own communities, which seems to demonstrate a greater defenselessness in their case: this has been the very clear case of the Philippines, where four local radio journalists died .

But it’s not just violent deaths. “Governments (around the world) continue to jail record numbers of journalists and fail to address the spiral of violence and the culture of impunity,” he added.

Record deaths in Mexico and Haiti

A group of journalists demonstrate to demand justice for the murders of their colleagues in Tijuana, Baja California state (Mexico). Stock image. EFE/Joebeth Terriquez

The thirteen documented deaths in Mexico represent the most serious figure in that country in a single year: of them, three were killed after threats “because of their coverage of crime and politics!; of the other ten, the causes are being investigated, but they may never be known “in a country characterized by violence and impunity.”

There are laws and institutions in Mexico that in theory specifically protect journalists – the report stresses – but “they have proven to be ineffective in keeping informants safe and sound”, citing the case of María Guadalupe Lourdes Maldonado, shot to death in her car in Tijuana despite being under a Baja California protection mechanism.

In Haiti, the deaths of seven reporters cannot be blamed solely on armed gang violence, as at least two of them were killed by law enforcement officials, according to CPJ.

Brazil, Chile and Colombia are also cited as proven cases of intentional murder of journalists, and the case of Colombian Rafael Emiro Moreno Garavito is highlighted, who died in a restaurant after having accused his independent newspaper Voces de Córdoba of denouncing drug trafficking and political corruption

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