Protection of Journalists in Mexico
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In 2017, reporter Gumaro Pérez Aquilando was shot dead at a Christmas party at his son’s elementary school. He was registered in the state’s journalist protection program; however, investigators had assumptions that he was no longer a journalist, and he had ties with organised crime.
Ruben Pat Cauich was the chief of a facebook-based news site, and was shot around 6:00 outside a bar. He was already dead by the time the police arrived. Julio Omar Gómez’s house was set on fire, but he survived. His bodyguard was shot several times, then died later in the hospital. This was the third attempt on his life. Since then, he has chosen to resign from his profession as a journalist.
46 journalists were killed in Mexico in 2017, and 42 in 2018 due to the violent drug cartels throughout the country. There have been 100 people killed since 2000. The Mexican government has failed in its poor attempts to protect the press. The “Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists” will run out soon, unless something changes.This program was originally funded by federal trust. It provides “...protective measures to over 700 journalists and human rights defenders under imminent threat of violence.” However, this program severely lacks funding and attention. If we can raise awareness of this problem, then the program could help provide more methods of protection for journalists like Omar Gómez.
To help the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Journalists, you can donate to the Committee to Protect Journalists, who is already trying to address this problem. If the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists runs out, then many survivors like Omar Gómez will end up dead like Pérez Aquilando, or Pat Cauich. If the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists is saved, then many journalists can live their lives without being in fear of being attacked, and journalists like Omar Gómez will not have to resign, and they can continue doing what they love.
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