RSF asks ICC to investigate crimes of violence against journalists in Mexico
The secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Christophe Deloire, met with Mexican Undersecretary of Human Rights Alejandro Encinas
today in Mexico City and informed him that RSF has asked the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes of violence against journalists in Mexico from 2006 to 2018.
Stressing RSF’s deep concern about the continuing frequency of murders and abductions of journalists in Mexico, one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the media, Deloire urged Mexico’s authorities to quickly implement an ambitious plan for combatting impunity for these crimes and to respect Mexico’s international obligations as regards the protection of journalists.
Deloire told Encinas that RSF submitted a formal request to the ICC yesterday, asking it to investigate the crimes of violence against journalists that took place during the terms of Mexico’s two preceding presidents, Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) and Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018).
Prepared jointly with Propuesta Cívica, RSF’s Mexican partner organization, the request identifies 116 crimes of violence against journalists – 102 murders and 14 enforced disappearances – that were related to the victims’ journalistic work. The submission argues that they constitute crimes of humanity as defined in article 7 of the Rome Statute establishing the ICC.
The many murders and abductions of journalists who try to inform the public about organized crime, corruption and collusion between crime cartels and officials – crimes of deadly violence that take place against a backdrop of passive complicity on the part of the authorities – must be regarded as crimes against humanity.
RSF told Encinas that it hoped that its submission to the ICC and its request for a preliminary investigation by the ICC prosecutor into the situation in Mexico would serve to support the new Mexican administration’s efforts to combat impunity, inasmuch as international justice can complement national justice.
RSF urged the president to refer the situation in Mexico to the ICC himself, in order to be able to count on its analysis and its help with implementing an emergency plan for the justice system.
After the meeting with the president, Deloire held a press conference together with RSF Latin America bureau director Emmanuel Colombié, RSF Mexico representative Balbina Flores and Propuesta Cívica director Sara Mendiola to explain the importance of an emergency plan for the safety of journalists in Mexico.
“President López Obrador’s term of office must see in-depth reforms that make it possible to combat impunity for crimes of violence against journalists and to improve the efficacy of the Mechanism for Protecting Journalists in the most problematic states, so that journalists can work freely and provide the news coverage that Mexican citizens and the country itself need,” Deloire said.
Mexico is ranked 147th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.