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Unesco denounces impunity rate in murders of journalists in Mexico

Within the framework of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (Inai) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific Organization and Culture (UNESCO), organized a forum where they denounced that the outlook on the matter worldwide is bleak, since 156 murders were registered from 2018 to 2019 in the world.

During the forum “Investigative Journalism and the Right of Access to Public Information”, the results of the Report of the Director General of UNESCO on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, “Protect journalists , protect the truth. “

UNESCO recorded 156 murders of journalists worldwide from 2018 to 2019. On average, over the last decade, a journalist has been murdered every four days, with 2019 being the year with the fewest deaths in the last decade, with 57 deaths.

The report is prepared by decision of the 39 Member States of UNESCO’s International Program for the Development of Communication (IPDC).

The agency noted that impunity for crimes against journalists prevails. 2020 saw a slight decrease in the impunity rate, with 13% of cases resolved worldwide, compared to 12% in 2019 and 11% in 2018.

The report also highlights that, in 2019, the highest number of deadly attacks against journalists occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean, where 40% of the murders recorded worldwide occurred, followed by the Asia-Pacific region with 26% of murders.

Most of the journalists were killed in countries without armed conflict. Between 2018 and 2019, the number of journalists killed totaled 89 in countries without armed conflict, 54 in 2018 and 35 in 2019.

Meanwhile, 67 journalists were killed in countries with armed conflicts, 45 in 2018 and 22 in 2019.

In the inaugural event, the commissioner of the Inai, Blanca Lilia Ibarra Cadena, indicated that freedom of expression constitutes a cornerstone of democracies and regretted that attacks such as threats, repression, harassment, discredit and intimidation prevail against members of the press, since according to UN data, one in 10 murders of journalists goes unpunished.

“These events are not only an alarm signal that reveal the vulnerabilities of democracy, the State and governments to maintain the conditions and institutional capacities focused on mitigating the threats suffered by journalists and those who exercise freedom of expression” , he emphasized.

And in his speech, Frederic Vachenor, representative of the UNESCO Office in Mexico, indicated that from 2010 to 2019, 93 journalists have been murdered in the country and the impunity rate is 85%; that is, only 14 of the 93 cases have been resolved.

The deadly attacks by Mexican journalists, he said, have been related to investigations of corruption, human trafficking, political crimes, human rights violations or environmental problems.

Luis Javier Solana, founder of the Citizen Council of the National Journalism Award, urged the government to commit to freedom of expression and protect the lives of journalists.

Meanwhile, Francisco Javier Acuña Llamas, president commissioner of Inai, said that if there were no media, the collective memory would be lost and recalled the forgers of Mexican democracy, which could not have been imagined without the actions of the Flores Magón brothers. .

“This government is made up of brave, brave activists who in the past suffered political persecution. This government has in its ranks people who were in prison or who were very close to prisoners of conscience, who were silenced, who were gagged for having ideas different from the regime of that time. In this government, I understand, there is a critical conscience that makes them recognize that journalism is healthy despite sometimes overdoing it, “said the president commissioner.