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    Part of an exhibition by the project "Bulletproof Words," aimed at raising awareness about the situation of journalism in Mexico before the presidential elections. June 6, 2018. | Photo: EFE

Published 14 December 2018

The government of Oaxaca issued a statement saying that “freedom of expression is fundamental for the democratic life of the Oaxaca people and constructive criticism is also essential in the daily public service.”

Mexican authorities are investigating social media threats to seven journalists in the state of Oaxaca, southern Mexico, as informed by the local attorney’s office.

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“Affirming the commitment to guarantee the right to freedom of expression in Oaxaca, the Attorney General of the State opened an investigation to determine the origin of the threat that a group of seven journalists from Oaxaca received through Facebook,” says a press release.

On Dec. 10, the journalists were called by name and threatened through a private message, received by a news outlet in which one of them collaborates. The journalists proceeded to file a complaint at the local prosecuting office.

Two of them also wrote a letter to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office on Dec. 1, and the governor of Oaxaca, Alejandro Murat Hinojosa, saying the threats put them and their families at risk.

The government of Oaxaca issued a statement saying that “freedom of expression is fundamental for the democratic life of the Oaxaca people and constructive criticism is also essential in the daily public service.”

The threat says it’s a “second call” for those who ignored the first one, warning there won’t be a third, and gives the name of the seven journalists, including men and women.

Article 19, a NGO dedicated to freedom of expression, condemned the threats.

“Seven reports of different outlets and regions of Oaxaca were victims of a threat through Facebook. The reporters cover information related with public spending, corruption and politics in the State of Oaxaca,” Article 19 stated.

Ruben Vasconcelos, the state’s prosecutor, said the office will do its best to find the responsible people for the threat.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a journalist. According to a report by the Mexican National Commision for Human Rights (CNDH), 138 journalists were murdered in Mexico between 2000 and March 2018. In 2018 alone, at least 12 journalists have been killed and one is still missing.

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