Two of Mexico’s presidential candidates sign RSF’s pledge to protect journalism

After the third and final debate ahead of Mexico’s presidential elections, two of the three main candidates have responded to a call by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), signing a pledge to defend press freedom – an issue that has been largely absent from the campaign until now.

So far commitments have been given by the two main opposition candidates, Xóchitl Gálvez and Jorge Álvarez Máynez, who have publicly signed pledges to protect and support journalism if they win the election due to be held on 2 June.

Gálvez, the candidate of the Strength and Heart for Mexico coalition, and Máynez, the Citizens’ Movement candidate, have endorsed the five-point strategic programme proposed by RSF to improve protections for journalists and the right to information. It is urgently needed in Mexico, which is one of the world’s most violent countries for journalists with at least 38 killed in connection with their work over the past six years.

Claudia Sheinbaum, the candidate of the ruling Morena party founded by outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, was also invited to sign the pledge. She has so far not responded to RSF’s requests.

“The pledge proposed to the candidates by RSF constitutes the basis of an action plan for the federal government designed to reinforce protection and support for journalism in Mexico during the next presidential term. It is vital that the next president demonstrate political will to end violence against journalists in Mexico, which has continued to proliferate in recent years.

Artur Romeu
Director of RSF’s Latin America bureau

The presidential candidates were urged to commit to the following five priority tasks:

  1. Prioritise defence of the right to information and journalism;
  2. Guarantee full protection for journalists;
  3. Promote legislation that safeguards the ability to practise journalism in complete safety;
  4. Combat impunity for crimes of violence against journalists;
  5. Develop sustainability and safety measures for media in areas where they are in the process of disappearing.

Each task includes initial measures to defend press freedom in Mexico, such as: 

  • Ending the vilification of journalism by government officials;

  • Reviewing the functioning of the federal mechanism for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders, by adopting a system of permanent public policy evaluation;

  • Prioritising the search for journalists missing in Mexico; 

  • Guaranteeing reparations for the families of journalists who have been murdered or who have disappeared; 

  • Developing policies for investigation, accountability and protection, so the many areas of the country where media are disappearing do not become black holes for news and information.

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