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Journalist killings in Mexico worst in a decade

November 25, 2020

A Mexican official has announced that 2020 saw the most murders of journalists in 10 years, with 19 killed. The figure suggests that homicide numbers remain out of control in parts of the country.

Dealing with crime in Mexico
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/R. Blackwell

This has been the most violent year for journalists in Mexico for at least 10 years, with 19 murdered, a senior government official announced Wednesday.

Alejandro Encinas, deputy interior minister for human rights, said there had been 138 homicides of journalists since 2010. Some 38 took place since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office on December 1, 2018.

"Over the last three years things have rebounded significantly, and this year is unfortunately the year when the highest number of homicides have been committed in the last decade, reaching 19," Encinas told a news conference.

There were 17 murders of journalists recorded in 2019.

Read more: Mexico murder rate reaches record high

Growing problem

Mexico is often ranked one of the worst countries in the world to be a journalist. According to the Committee for Protection of Journalists (CPJ), an advocacy group, media professionals are often targeted when their work upsets criminal gangs or corrupt officials.

The most dangerous states for journalists since Lopez Obrador took office have been Sonora, Guerrero, Veracruz and Michoacan, according to the government's figures.

The failure of authorities to punish perpetrators of murders is regularly cited as a factor behind the violence, and Encinas said only 5% of the murders against journalists committed under the current administration had led to criminal sentencing.

Threatened journalists in Mexico

ed/jlw (dpa, Reuters)