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Статья опубликована в рамках: Научного журнала «Студенческий» № 11(223)

Рубрика журнала: Технические науки

Секция: Телекоммуникации

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Библиографическое описание:
Loor V.T. THE RISKS OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION FOR JOURNALISTS IN MEXICO // Студенческий: электрон. научн. журн. 2023. № 11(223). URL: https://sibac.info/journal/student/223/282748 (дата обращения: 26.02.2024).

THE RISKS OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION FOR JOURNALISTS IN MEXICO

Loor Vinces Thalia Maritza

student, Department of Journalism Theory and History, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia,

Russia, Moscow

ABSTRACT

Freedom of expression is synonymous with democracy in most countries of the world; it is a right of ordinary people and, obviously, of media professionals who exercise it daily in their work. Unfortunately, however, it is often clouded and seriously challenged in some parts of the world. This is the case of Mexico, a country in the Americas, which is the most dangerous state on the continent for journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders.

 

Keywords: freedom of expression, Mexico, journalism, rights, risks.

 

Freedom of expression implies our capacity to communicate and express ourselves openly, and it is a fundamental right to live in a fair and open society. [1].

It is the concept that has marked society since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 of which indicates that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. [2]

The Organization of American States (OAS), for its part, considers it an indispensable requirement for the very existence of a democratic society.[3]

Concerning journalism, it underlines that it involves the primary manifestation of freedom of expression of thoughts, emphasizing that it should not be conceived only as providing public service through professional knowledge acquired in an educational institution.

In the same way, the organization indicates that it is only possible to practice journalism with a whole exercise of freedom of expression.

In this way, the main feature of communication sciences and journalism is freedom of expression, which can be defined in this case as freedom of the press.

However, being a highly showy profession with great social importance, it has become one of the most dangerous jobs of our time. Thus, according to a report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on freedom of the press, corruption and organized crime were journalists' main causes of death in 2022. [4]

The situation has become ever more critical on the American continent, especially in Mexico, which topped the list of the most dangerous countries for media professionals for another year. RSF points out that Mexico is the most dangerous country for journalists on the American continent, indicating that threats, attacks and violence against those who practice this activity have been recurrent in recent decades, with impunity and lack of investigation in most cases. Moreover, this situation has not only persisted in recent years, but attacks have increased, and the relations between political authorities and critical media have become increasingly tense.

Reporters Without Borders affirms that Mexico remains one of the world's most dangerous and deadly countries for journalists and mentions in its 2022 report that at least 11 cases of murder were registered, and 27 journalists went missing that year. [5]

The recent data from RSF show that journalism has become a high-risk activity. According to the organization, 142 journalists have been assassinated in Mexico since 2000, while 22 cases have been recorded under the current administration. Thirty of the total number of homicides took place in Veracruz, making it the most dangerous state for this profession. Although most cases were attributed to organized crime, there are also cases with some participation of the authorities of the Mexican state. [6]

Regarding the investigation of these crimes and the administration of justice, the country is among the nations with the highest levels of impunity for crimes against journalists, according to the 2020 Global Impunity Index of the Committee to Protect Journalists. Mexico ranks sixth in this study, surpassed by Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq, Syria and Somalia. [7]

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the causes of the high levels of impunity in attacks and crimes against journalists are corruption, institutional weakness and lack of political will. [8]

With all these investigations, it is important to mention that freedom of the press is guaranteed in the Mexican Constitution and further upheld in the Law Regarding Freedom of the Press of 1917. In practice, no laws hamper the freedom of the press, with censorship imposed with threats or direct attacks against journalists rather than lawsuits, imprisonment, or suspension of activities. [9]

The collusion between the authorities and organized crime represents a serious threat to journalists and is felt at every link of the judicial system.

Professionals who cover sensitive topics related to politics or crime, especially at the local level, are threatened or, in the worst case, simply murdered. Others are kidnapped and never reappear or choose to flee abroad to save their lives. [10]

Some organizations that protect human rights and the rights of journalists point out that the current government of Mexico has not carried out any reform necessary to put an end to violence and impunity in the country.

In this way, if the governmental bodies do not reach a consensus to ensure the freedom of the press in the country and the security of media workers, these alarming figures will continue to rise.

Moreover, it is a state policy to protect journalists and provide full guarantees so that they can do their job safely.

Big challenges for journalism in the country are constant threats and murders of journalists, either by organized crime groups or public authorities and also the way how politicians understand freedom of expression.

If attacks and delegitimisation continue, they may undermine the main elements of democracy, such as freedom of expression, the right to discern, and the plurality of thought.

 

References:

  1. Freedom of expression// Amnesty International. URL: https://www.es.amnesty.org/en-que-estamos/temas/libertad-de-expresion/
  2. Universal Declaration of Human Rights// United Nations. URL: https://www.un.org/ru/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights
  3. OAS Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. URL:    https://www.oas.org/es/cidh/expresion/index.asp
  4. Freedom of Expression Report 2022// Reporters without Borders. URL:     https://rsf.org/es/clasificacion/puntuacion-seg?year=2022
  5. Safety of journalists in Mexico// Reporters without Borders. URL:  https://rsf.org/es/pais/méxico
  6. Threats to freedom of expression in Mexico// Foundation Konrad Adenauer in Mexico. URL: https://www.kas.de/es/web/mexiko/einzeltitel/-/content/amenazas-a-la-libertad-de-expresion-en-mexico
  7. CPJ’s annual Global Impunity Index// Elana Beiser/CPJ Editorial Director. URL: https://cpj.org/reports/2020/10/global-impunity-index-journalist-murders/
  8. Impunity for murdered journalists in Mexico// Committee to Protect Journalists. URL: https://cpj.org/reports/2020/10/global-impunity-index-journalist-murders/
  9. Freedom of the press in Mexico. A human rights perspective// Omar Rábago Vital. URL: https://www.corteidh.or.cr/tablas/r34794.pdf
  10. Mexico, the second most violent country for journalists// El Sol de México. URL: https://www.elsoldemexico.com.mx/mexico/sociedad/mexico-es-el-segundo-pais-mas-violento-para-periodistas-hrw-8227189.html

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