LatinaLista — One of the deadliest occupations in Mexico is that of a journalist.
Journalists and media outlets have been under constant mortal attack by drug cartels and corrupt public officials who don’t like the truth exposed. The country is routinely ranked among the top five in the world as being a deadly place to be a journalist.
Since 1996, over 48 reporters and editors have been murdered in Mexico, with no one convicted for the crimes. The campaign to silence journalists has even extended to bloggers who blog about cartel crimes and violence in the country. Too often, these citizen journalists become victims of their own reporting.
As the violence has worsened in the country, Mexican journalists have taken to the streets to march for the government’s help in protecting them and finding their colleagues who have disappeared. They’ve lobbied for more government support.
This month, legislators in the state of Michoacán, a hotbed for the La Familia Michoacana and Los Caballeros Templarios cartels, are working on a bill that would provide those journalists who cover narco-trafficking with bulletproof vests, armored vehicles, bodyguards, home security systems and protection for their families.
It would also provide health insurance and relocation costs in the event their lives are threatened.
While it’s the most than what has been done in the past, Mexican journalists need more. They need for the Special Prosecutor for Attention to Crimes against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE), an office established in 2006 for the express purpose of addressing the violence against Mexican journalists, to work and have its powers and resources broadened.
To send this message to Mexico’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexican journalists have created a petition on Change.org.
Calling their campaign “Justice for journalists in Mexico” and giving it the hashtag #impunidadmata, Mexican journalists hope to get one million signatures which they will deliver to Nieto on April 29, 2013.
The journalists are asking everyone who believes in a free press to sign their petition so that they nor their colleagues should die for doing their jobs and delivering a much-needed service in a country being overrun with intimidation, threats and murders.