Sunday, May 28, 2023

US lawmakers ask for support and protection for Mexican media

US lawmakers this week introduced a resolution to condemn violence against journalists in Mexico.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez and Tim Kaine, Chairman of the Senate Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, along with eight fellow Senate Democrats, voiced their support for better safeguards for the media in Mexico.

The resolution came as Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador met with President Joe Biden in Washington on Tuesday.

In a joint statement, Kaine acknowledged the importance of López Obrador’s visit to Washington to discuss trade, migration, security and other issues.

But he said: “Equally important will be action to strengthen protections for journalists in Mexico, who continue to face record levels of violence in the country.”

The country ranks as one of the most dangerous for the media outside of war zones and has a poor record in obtaining justice in cases of journalists killed for their work.

Security measures are in place, including a federal program to offer practical assistance and protection to threatened journalists, but registrants say the efforts are not enough.

At least 12 journalists have been killed in Mexico since the beginning of the year. On July 1, a radio journalist in the central state of Jalisco narrowly survived a knife attack.

The mechanism – For the Mexican media, Crime Beat can be a murderer

At least 12 journalists have been killed in Mexico since the beginning of the year. On July 1, a radio journalist in the central state of Jalisco narrowly survived a knife attack.

The assailants pulled Susana Carreño from her vehicle and threw her to the ground at gunpoint, then repeatedly stabbed the Radio UDG journalist.

The attack left her needing emergency surgery on her neck and chest, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Describing the attack as “shocking and brutal,” CPJ Mexico representative Jan-Albert Hootsen said in a statement that the case “shows once again the utter failure of Mexican authorities to protect the country’s press.” .

The Mexican president’s press relations office told VOA in May that the López Obrador administration is taking steps to address the violent attacks.

“Progress is being made in eradicating impunity for crimes against journalists,” the press office said, noting that officials have taken action against suspects in at least six of the fatal attacks in 2022.

‘Urgent need to protect’

In their resolution, US lawmakers called on Mexico to commit to conducting “thorough and impartial” investigations into media-targeted violence, helping state agencies improve protective measures, and working with civil society to monitor conditions. of the media.

In a statement posted on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee website, Kaine said: “Freedom of the press must remain the cornerstone of all democratic nations, including Mexico. In essence, this resolution underscores the urgent need to protect journalists who risk their lives to report the truth.”

Noting that the European Parliament passed a similar resolution earlier this year, Menéndez said: “As journalists risk everything to promote the truth, expose injustice and hold the bad guys accountable, they deserve nothing less than our full support and of the Mexican government. ”

López Obrador responded to criticism from the European Parliament at one of his regular press conferences in March. The president said he was taking steps to address the killings and that the criticism of Mexico’s response to the media attacks was part of a “campaign against the government.”

Media rights groups have previously criticized López Obrador for hostile rhetoric directed at journalists.

The media watchdog Reporters Without Borders said the López Obrador administration accuses journalists of bias and attempts to discredit journalists, and said the president himself has described the press as “biased” and “scum.”

Arturo Sarukhan, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former Mexican ambassador to the United States, told VOA on Tuesday that a “commitment” to protecting journalists is “what matters at the end of the day.”

The López Obrador administration must commit itself “to protecting journalists, to providing them with the protection they require so that they are not intimidated, in some cases by organized crime, and that the president himself does not…attack, denigrate, criticize and question journalists.” media”. .”

For journalists in Mexico, the killings and violence make them feel vulnerable.

“We are tired, sad and tired, of these violent events,” Juan de Dios García Davish, executive director of the Quadratin Chiapas news site, told VOA last month after the murder of Antonio de la Cruz, in the state of Tamaulipas. , June 29.

De Dios García Davish moved to Las Vegas, in the US state of Nevada, for security reasons.

María de Jesús Peters, another Mexican journalist who moved to the United States for security reasons, said: “The truth is not killed by killing journalists. And today, we are demanding that justice.”

Jessica Jerreat, Anita Powell, and Cristina Caicedo Smit contributed to this report.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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