After the three murders of journalists that occurred in the first weeks of the year, experts considered that the violence generated against the press is a debt that the State has had for more than 15 years, while pointing out that the Approved Protocol to investigate crimes against freedom of expression is not used.
On January 26, the Attorney General of the State of Baja California, Ricardo Iván Carpio Sánchez, announced that in the case of Lourdes Maldonado, a journalist murdered in Tijuana on January 23, no solid information has been found that demonstrates that the motive for the crime is his profession.
Under this scenario, Paula Saucedo, officer of the Protection and Defense program of the organization Article 19, assured that the authorities of the three levels of government do not adequately carry out their work.
“Another of the things that they are not doing is investigating, the Approved Protocol to investigate crimes against freedom of expression, which was enacted in 2018 and has as its main axis that all investigations and crimes against communicators include the journalistic work as the main axis of investigation and it is not used, many MPs (Public Ministries) and state prosecutors do not know the protocols,” he explained.
Similarly, Saucedo mentioned that there is no coordination or communication between authorities of the three levels of government. Likewise, it pointed out that the protection law and the mechanisms have a reactive and not a preventive approach.
“Most of the attacks are linked to coverage of corruption and politics, also a large part of the attacks are perpetrated by public servants, so there is a lack of political will to investigate the crimes,” he said.
For her part, Balbina Flores, representative in Mexico of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization, indicated that in the last 15 years the demands of communicators have been clear so that justice is done and cases do not go unpunished.
“This is not new because journalists have faced a spiral of terrible violence for many years, we can remember very strong stages such as the beginning of the war against drug trafficking,” he recalled.
Paula Saucedo agreed that the union is tired of repeating the same thing year after year, while regretting that the promises of the current government have not been fulfilled.
“The impact of someone who promised for many years that there would be a change is much greater and of course in the case of violence against the press (three murders in less than a month) it is brutal,” he said.
The Approved Protocol for the Investigation of Crimes Committed against Freedom of Expression seeks to improve the administration of justice, in addition to providing tools to MP agents, experts and officials from all prosecutors’ offices in the country.
Among the most important elements of this protocol is the creation of effective research plans, which guide the research acts.
It also establishes, as an obligation, exhausting all lines of investigation related to the journalistic work of a victim; for this it contains a series of guiding questions.