16 Mar, 2022

Mexico: Government must act to protect journalists and human rights defenders

The Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament condemns the harassing and killing of human rights defenders and journalists in Mexico and calls on national authorities to investigate the killings in a prompt, thorough, independent and impartial manner.

In an urgency resolution debated last week, the European Parliament plenary called on Mexican authorities to eliminate impunity in these cases, in order to achieve a safe environment for the defence of human rights and safeguard independent journalism.

Attacks against journalists are rising in Mexico, particularly against those criticising public officials or exposing the work of criminal cartels. Those most at threat are local reporters investigating links between politics and organised crime.

Nicolae Ștefănuță MEP (USR PLUS, Romania), who led negotiations on the resolution, said:

“Over the last two months, we’ve seen what’s very likely the deadliest time for the Mexican press in over a decade. Exposing high-level corruption or criticizing local authorities for their relationship with Mexican organised crime has gotten at least seven journalists killed.

Here, in the European Parliament, we defend freedom of speech, as it an essential part of a functioning democratic society. It’s high time we called on Mexico to do the same, to not let any other murder uninvestigated, to refrain from stigmatizing media workers and to let them do their job. Journalists don’t carry weapons. They only carry a pen and a notebook to defend themselves, and if killings of Mexico’s journalists continue, democracy will die with them.”

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