Even if journalists in Mexico manage to access protection mechanisms, derived from the fact that their lives are at risk for exercising their profession, these have deficiencies, since deaths of communicators have been recorded, such as that of Lourdes Maldonado, which occurred in Tijuana, Baja California, which had these measures.
Until September 2021, the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recognized the murder of at least 47 journalists perpetrated during the current administration, however, since that date Fredy López Arévalo has been murdered (October 28, 2021, in Chiapas ); Alfredo Cardoso Echeverría (October 31, 2021, in Guerrero), José Luis Arenas Gamboa (January 10, 2022, in Veracruz), Margarito Martínez (January 17, 2022, in Baja California) and Lourdes Maldonado López (January 23 of 2022, in Baja California).
With these latest cases, there are at least 52 communicators who have been fatally attacked during the current government.
Similarly, until last September, the federal government recognized the death of seven journalists who were part of the protection mechanism, whether local or federal. Added to these are the cases of Arenas Gamboa and Maldonado López, giving a total of nine dead journalists, despite the fact that their protection should be a priority for the authorities.
In the case of the photojournalist Martínez Esquivel, on December 13, 2021, he requested his incorporation into the State System for the Protection of Journalists, an organization that sent his request to the Federal Mechanism of the Segob, however, it is known that his incorporation process was not completed.
Faced with the cases, social organizations have expressed their concern about the processes of incorporation into the protection systems, due to bureaucratic excesses, multiple requirements and documents by journalists before implementing effective protection measures.
The Superior Audit of the Federation warned in the Public Account 2018, that the actions carried out by the State for the protection of journalists have been unsuccessful, since the work of the Segob, the CNDH, the CEAV and the then PGR were implemented in a deficient and disjointed, with a lack of political will with which the Protection Mechanism operates, so they did not fulfill their purpose of stopping the increase in grievances against the lives of journalists and human rights defenders.
They point out deficiencies
Amir Ibrahim Mohamed, who since 2018 has been integrated into the mechanism for the protection of journalists, maintains that although the mechanism has worked for him, there are some measures within it that have deficiencies, including the way in which journalists are selected. cases or even the escort service that fail to protect adequately.
The journalist, who has been threatened after investigating cases of corruption by a group of businessmen colluding with organized crime in Quintana Roo, also considers that the way in which the risk to incorporate a communicator into the mechanism is analyzed is the challenge.
“Now there is much criticism that two of the murdered journalists were protected, but it would be necessary to see what protection plan they had and who approved it (…) which to this day we know failed. That has been happening at the moment, the protection plans are not adequate in many cases (…) some are protected from more and some from less”, he stresses.
The secretary of displaced journalists from Mexico, and communicator for ElQuintanaRoo.mx, also acknowledges that after the violence he has suffered for his work, his vulnerability has been greater, since his tranquility disappeared.
For her part, Camelia Muñoz, MVS news correspondent in Coahuila and who has also been with the mechanism for four years, says that her experience within these protection measures was not entirely the best, explaining that from her first analysis of risk, the authorities were limited to seeing the minimum protection measures, despite the fact that she had denounced on several occasions the intrusion of people into her home and actions that came to endanger her life.
Regarding situations such as the ones described above, the also activist warns that these are reported, however, she points out that they take it for granted, “but then they no longer tell you what the follow-up is (…) they have not been able to give me the measures of Integral protection. They even put you in a moment of emotional instability, you are not sure, ”she laments.
At the time it was after a year of being integrated into the mechanism that she managed to obtain better protection measures, such as the installation of security cameras and fences throughout her home. While this mechanism also lacks a gender perspective.