Mexican journalist Jonathan Cuevas speaks in Mexico City at a protest by members of Mexico's press against the killing of their colleague Fredid Román, on August 24, 2022. (AFP/Pedro Pardo)

Deadliest country for journalists in Western Hemisphere: Killings continue unabated in Mexico amid a climate of impunity

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At least 13 journalists were killed in Mexico in the first eight months of 2022, the highest number CPJ has ever documented in the country in a single year. In a country characterized by corruption and organized crime, it’s unclear how many were targeted directly because of their work.

“That is a crisis of press freedom that we’ve rarely seen anywhere in the world,” Jan-Albert Hootsen, CPJ’s Mexico representative, said in an interview with KJZZ Phoenix’s Fronteras Desk. “Let alone in a country that is officially in peace time like Mexico.”

These deaths are attributed in part to the failure of the Mexican authorities, on both the federal and local levels, to make the country safer for reporters or even take crimes against the press seriously.

Despite the presence of the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, killings continue in the country. At least nine reporters and dozens of human rights defenders have been killed while technically under protection from the federal mechanism since the institution was created in 2012.

Read CPJ’s briefing on the ongoing press freedom crisis in Mexico.

Global Press Freedom Updates


On Tuesday, September 6, CPJ is co-sponsoring a panel discussion at the Geneva Press Club titled “Democracy and Free Speech in Hong Kong: The case of Jimmy Lai and Apple Daily,” in which CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg will participate. In-person and online registration is open. The event starts at 9:30 a.m. EDT/3:30 p.m. CEST.

At the International Press Institute World Congress, Ginsberg is scheduled to moderate a panel discussion on alternative paths to justice regarding impunity in journalist killings on September 10 at 9:30 a.m. EDT. At noon, CPJ Emergencies Director Lucy Westcott is scheduled to participate in an interactive workshop about gendered disinformation and online harassment of women journalists.

The panels will take place at Columbia University in New York City, and registration is live for in-person participation and the livestream.

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