“Critical minds for critical times” is the motto chosen by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to commemorate World Press Freedom Day, which was first held on May 3, 1993 by the UNESCO Assembly.
The world organization chose this slogan in order to highlight the media’s role in advancing towards more peaceful, just and inclusive societies. This goal is worthy of addressing in Mexico, where freedom of speech has not, since the time of the Mexican viceroyalty, experienced the level of threat it currently faces.
However, Mexico is not the only country facing threats towards professional journalism. During its 2017 World Press Freedom Index, UNESCO assessed the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists in 180 countries based on the media’s pluralism and independence, work environment, security, censorship, legal framework, transparency and the quality of the infrastructure that is available to produce information.
According to the Index, 131 countries do not foster the right conditions for journalists. The biggest predators for journalism are China, which ranks 176th and is considered “the world’s largest prison for journalists,” Syria, ranked 177; Turkmenistan, ranked 178; Eritrea, ranked 179; and North Korea, ranked 180. North Korea’s only figure with the authority to provide official information to the media and radio is the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Concerning Mexico, the country is currently positioned 147th, having climbed 2 ranks since last year.
According to Article 19 of the Universal Declarations of Human Rights, since the year 2000, there have been 102 journalist homicides in Mexico, possibly related to their informative work. Of the total, 29 deaths were registered during Enrique Peña Nieto presidency.
Veracruz is the most lethal state for Mexican journalists: 22 have been killed since 2000.
The origin of freedom of speech in Mexico comes from the 1812 Cadiz Constitution, whose liberal spirit was transcribed to the constitutions, first to the one of Apatzingan and from there onwards to the Reform laws and the Constitution of 1917....Continue reading article here