Mexico: Claudia Sheinbaum’s election as president creates historic opportunity to stop the spiral of violence against journalists

Elected with nearly 60 percent of the vote in Mexico’s 2 June general elections, Claudia Sheinbaum will be the first woman to occupy the country’s presidency when she takes office on 1 October. Over the next six years, she will have both the challenge and the opportunity to put an end to the uncontrolled violence against media workers that has ravaged Mexico for more than two decades.

Claudia Sheinbaum, of the Sigamos Haciendo Historia coalition, will succeed Andrés Manuel López Obrador as president of Mexico. The first woman who will hold the office in the country, Sheinbaum joined RSF's pledge to defend journalism just days before the election, commiting to taking action on  five strategic points that will form the basis of a governmental action plan designed to ensure that for journalists, Mexico ceases to be the most dangerous of the world’s countries that are not at war.

“As Mexico’s next president, Claudia Sheinbuam will have a historic opportunity to create a legacy of ending the uncontrolled spiral of violence against media workers. The biggest challenge for the federal government will be to efficiently coordinate institutional effort towards a more ambitious preventive and protective policy for journalists, employing all possible mechanisms at the national and state level. Pushing back on violence against media workers cannot continue to depend solely on the national protection mechanism in isolation. A more systematic approach is deeply needed and its success depends on real political will.

Artur Romeu
Director of RSF's Latin America bureau

One of the future government's priorities in this regard will be to monitor the work of the justice system, responsible for investigating crimes against journalists. Impunity is at the root of the cycle of violence that prevails in Mexico. The federal government must work hand-in-hand with the local and specialised prosecutors’ offices to improve technical capacity and ensure the conduct of exhaustive investigations. 

RSF’s pledge to defend journalism, signed by Claudia Sheinbaum along with the leading two opposition candidates, lists 22 action points, outlining a path for the implementation of concrete measures to promote a safer environment for journalists. A working group is planned to be set up in the first quarter of 2025 to move forward with implementation, under the coordination of the Secretariat of the Interior.

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