“Protection paradigm” – RSF’s unprecedented report on protective mechanisms for journalists in Latin America

The Latin America bureau of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is today releasing the findings of a lengthy investigation and analysis of protective mechanisms for journalists in Latin America’s four most dangerous countries for the media – Mexico, Honduras, Colombia and Brazil.


Entitled Protection paradigm: making protection mechanisms work for Latin American journalists, the report is the outcome of an unprecedented comparative analysis of the protective mechanisms in these four countries, where 90% of the murders of journalists in the past decade took place. In one of them, Mexico, no fewer than five journalists have already been murdered since the start of 2022.


Launched in 2021 with support from UNESCO, this survey’s goal has been to better determine how these measures work, their effectiveness, and their impact on the journalists who have been threatened and who request help.


Journalists in Latin America must cease to be targets,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the director of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “It is urgent to stem this spiral of violence with dramatic consequences for the region’s democracies. The vulnerability of journalists is not inevitable. RSF is proposing concrete ways to improve the effectiveness of protective mechanisms in Brazil, Honduras, Colombia and Mexico, and aims to help initiate the necessary changes and provide them with lasting support.


To carry out this detailed diagnosis, RSF conducted 75 interviews with the various actors involved – the beneficiaries of protection measures, those responsible for implementing them, and civil society representatives working on this issue. On the basis of these interviews and its regional expertise, RSF has produced a total of 80 recommendations aimed at helping to resolve the flaws identified and improve the effectiveness of the protective mechanisms.


This report provides, for the first time, an authoritative regional overview of existing protection policies, without losing sight of the specificities of each country. Identification and analysis of the flaws – which have direct and sometimes very serious consequences for the beneficiaries of these programmes – should ensure that the report becomes an essential tool not only for regional advocacy but also for technical cooperation. The goal is for the recommendations to be quickly implemented by the authorities in the four countries concerned.


Read the report’s executive summary HERE

The full report is available in Spanish and Portuguese.


Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Honduras are ranked 111th, 134th, 143rd and 151st respectively in RSF's 2021 World Press Freedom Index.


Published on
Updated on 23.02.2022