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Mexico: Protests over Journalist Killings, Calls for Protection

Mexico: Protests over Journalist Killings, Calls for Protection
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By Staff, Agencies

Journalists in Mexico started nationwide protests on Tuesday to denounce the recent murders of three reporters, demanding an end to the impunity that characterizes the frequent killings of their colleagues.

The protests follow the murder of seasoned journalist Lourdes Maldonado on Sunday, some three years after she raised the issue of such killings with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and said she feared for her life.

Protestors in the central state of Puebla held signs that read “I’m angry at censorship,” while others in the northern state of Chihuahua wrote on a wall “Journalism is at risk.”

José Israel Ibarra González, president at a Baja California communications college, said if the Mexican government and society fail to act, they would be “complicit” in the murders as well as “the murder of freedom of expression in Mexico.”

Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists, with some 145 being killed between 2000 and 2021, according to the advocacy group Article 19.

"It is a matter of urgency that state and federal authorities prevent attacks, protect journalists when they are victims, and investigate crimes committed against the press with due diligence," Article 19 said in a statement.

Maldonado’s murder in the northern border city of Tijuana followed the killings of two other Mexican journalists in January 2022.

Lopez Obrador said his government would investigate and “clear up this crime to prevent further murders of journalists.”

Critics accuse Lopez Obrador of failing to deliver on pledges to curb violence, combat organized crime, and reduce impunity.

The Mexican leader attributes the high rates of crime and violence to chronic corruption and inequality.