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  • Journalists attend a news conference by opposition politicians in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Oct. 23, 2019.

    Journalists attend a news conference by opposition politicians in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Oct. 23, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 November 2019
Opinion

The Committee to Protect Journalists holds that Latin America is the world's second most deadliest region for reporters.

Regarding the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, which falls on Nov. 2, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) published a report which holds that Latin America is the world's second most dangerous region for the practice of journalism.

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According to the 2019 Global Impunity Index (GII), the deadliest countries for journalists are Arab States, where almost a third of the killings took place. The Latin American region (26 percent) and Asian and Pacific States (24 percent) are the next most dangerous.

“When a journalist seeks the truth, he or she often finds death. Over the last 12 years, more than a thousand journalists have been killed in war zones but also at home," Unesco denounced.

"They were killed in cold blood, deliberately, with impunity, to silence issues which some people wanted to keep hidden.”​​​​​​​

The GII calculates the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country's population.

In constructing this year's index, it was "examined journalist murders that occurred between Sep. 1, 2009, and Aug. 31, 2019, and remain unsolved. Only those nations with five or more unsolved cases are included on the index,” the CPJ explained.

In Latin America, Mexico is the country with the highest levels of violence against journalists because at least 11 journalists have been murdered so far this year. In this country, impunity has been getting worse given that criminal groups maintain a permanent campaign of terror against the media.

More than one hundred journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000, CPJ consultant Elisabeth Witchel recalled and explained that most violent crimes against journalists occur in areas of heavy drug trafficking.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

"13 journalists have been killed in Mexico so far in 2019. Journalist Nevith Condes Jaramillo was killed this Saturday in the Cerro de Cacalotepec community, municipality of Tejupilco, at the south of the State of Mexico."

Brazil is another Latin American nation included in the world's 13 most deadliest countries for journalists.

“In 2018, the election of Jair Bolsonaro as president of Brazil was marked by new attacks on press freedom. The climate of hate in which the South American country is immersed makes journalism increasingly difficult to exercise,” Reporters Without Borders (RSF) argues.

On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres recalled that journalists are essential to fostering democracy.

“When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price. Without the ability to protect journalists, our ability to remain informed and contribute to decision-making is severely hampered. Without journalists able to do their jobs in safety, we face the prospect of a world of confusion and disinformation,” Guterres said.

“On this International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, let us stand up together for journalists, for truth, and for justice.”​​​​​​​

More than one hundred journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000, CPJ consultant Elisabeth Witchel recalled and explained that the majority of violent crimes against journalists occur in areas of heavy drug trafficking.

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