Mexican journalist Victor Fernando Alvarez killed, PBI-Mexico’s appeal for an improved protection mechanism for journalists
On April 11, Al Jazeera reported, “A Mexican journalist who disappeared more than a week ago in the southern state of Guerrero was found dead on Saturday, becoming the second journalist to be murdered this year in the country.”
“Forensic tests on human remains in the seaside resort of Acapulco were identified as belonging to Victor Fernando Alvarez, who disappeared on April 2.”
“Last month, reporter Maria Elena Ferral was shot dead by two assailants on motorbikes while she was getting into her car in the eastern state of Veracruz.”
That article also notes, “Mexico is notoriously dangerous for the press with more than 100 reporters murdered since 2000. …Last year, 10 journalists were murdered in Mexico, according to the Reporters Without Borders NGO.”
G1 and France Presse add, “Mexico occupies the 144th position (out of 180) in the 2019 world ranking on press freedom published by the organization Reporters Without Borders.”
The Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project has noted that a Protection Mechanism was created for journalists in Autumn 2010. Later, the Law for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists was signed into law in June 2012.
That law obliges both federal and state authorities to protect the rights of journalists and human rights defenders.
PBI-Mexico has commented that “the Mechanism continues to demonstrate notable deficiencies and concerning failures.”
PBI Communications Coordinator Hannah Matthews has also commented, “The Mechanism has yet to fully develop policies and practices capable of effectively protecting journalists and human rights defenders.”
She further notes, “The Mechanism can’t possibly address its shortcomings with its current budget and staffing levels. Providing additional funding would be the first step the Mexican government can take to ensure the Mechanism has the resources necessary to manage its rapidly growing caseload.”
For more, please see the report Turning the Tide on Impunity: Protection and Access to Justice for Journalists and Human Rights Defenders in Mexico that was produced by Peace Brigades International and WOLA in March 2019.