Protecting Journalists at Risk in Mexico and Central America conference
On 25 October 2022, ENoP member Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung held the conference Protecting Journalists at Risk in Mexico and Central America. Organised in cooperation with ENoP and the EU-LAT Network, the event was hosted at the European Parliament with the sponsorship of MEP Tilly Metz. It shed light on the current threats that media professionals are facing, hearing directly from journalists from the region. Panellists discussed how the European Union can provide support through political initiatives and concrete mechanisms that protect individuals from old and new forms of violence.
The first eight months of 2022 have seen a shocking increase in lethal violence against journalists in Mexico, resulting in the murder of at least 13 journalists. According to a group of organisations that is monitoring and documenting these murders (Article19, the Committee to Protect Journalists - CPJ, Women’s Communication and Information - CIMAC, Reporters Without Borders and PEN International), the vast majority of these murders could be related to the exercise of the profession of journalism. If this trend continues, 2022 stands to become one of the most lethal years on record for the press in Mexico. Impunity, lack of investigations and ambiguous messages at all political levels indicate that the risk for this trend to continue is high. In Central America, the democratic space is shrinking more and more, violating fundamental rights like press freedom. Physical threats, several forms of harassments and risks for persecution have obliged many journalists to flee their countries.