Crushed by insecurity and impunity, journalists in Latin America are left in a tight spot. It is no surprise then, that the region has become one of the most dangerous places in the world for investigative journalists.
In Mexico alone, nine journalists were killed in 2017, putting the country alongside Iraq and Syria for the most murderous country for journalists. Out of the nine murders reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists, an NGO that promotes press freedom worldwide, the suspected source of fire for five cases were criminal groups, and within those five, government officials were suspected to also be involved in two cases.
The nine journalists covered three issues: corruption, crime and politics. In a country consumed by violence and crime at the hands of drug cartels and organized crime groups, journalists looking to uncover their inner-workings and connections to the government are most vulnerable. Prior to their murders, these journalists received death threats demanding they end their investigations.
But the nine cases also had another similarity: all nine cases ended without a conviction. Without an effective government willing to hold these groups accountable, they will only continue their reign of terror, especially since they know they can get away with it. But this isn’t a new trend. Since 1992, only five of the 40 journalist murder cases in Mexico were resolved.