PBI-Mexico supports the Espacio OSC call on funding for the Protection Mechanism for defenders and journalists

Published by Brent Patterson on

On September 30, the Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project posted: “PBI joins the call of @EspacioOsc [Civil Society Organizations Space] so that the @Mx_Diputados [the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house in the Mexican legislature] ensures the protection of more than 1,300 rights defenders and journalists. It is essential not to put the life, integrity and safety of defenders at risk.”

Their tweet includes a post from the Espacio OSC that says: “The elimination of the Trust weakens human rights obligations and the protection of human rights defenders and journalists.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists has explained: “Mexico’s federal congress is considering a proposal to abolish 54 federal trust funds, including one used to finance programs that protect journalists via the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists.”

“Under the legislative proposal, which was brought by the entire ruling party of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the journalist protection programs would no longer be funded by the mechanism; instead, they would be funded by the interior secretariat, a move that could leave them vulnerable to political maneuvering.”

PBI-Mexico has previously 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.”

Mexico-based Peace Brigades International communications coordinator Hannah Matthews has also commented: “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.”

Espacio_OSC is a coordination platform of 18 civil society organizations from throughout Mexico. The Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project provides accompaniment and technical support to the platform.

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.

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