ELECTED with nearly 60 per cent of the vote in Mexico’s general elections, Claudia Sheinbaum will be the first woman to occupy the country’s presidency when she takes office on 1 October.

Days before the election, Ms Sheinbaum signed up to a pledge from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to defend journalism. She committed to five strategic points that will form the basis of a governmental action plan, designed to ensure that for journalists, Mexico ceases to be the most dangerous of the world’s countries that are not at war.

Artur Romeu, Director of RSF’s Latin America bureau, said: “As Mexico’s next president, Claudia Sheinbuam will have a historic opportunity to create a legacy of ending the uncontrolled spiral of violence against media workers. The biggest challenge for the federal government will be to efficiently coordinate institutional effort towards a more ambitious preventive and protective policy for journalists, employing all possible mechanisms at the national and state level. Pushing back on violence against media workers cannot continue to depend solely on the national protection mechanism in isolation. A more systematic approach is deeply needed and its success depends on real political will.”

One of the future government’s priorities in this regard will be to monitor the work of the justice system, responsible for investigating crimes against journalists. RSF says impunity is at the root of the cycle of violence that prevails in Mexico. The federal government must work hand-in-hand with the local and specialised prosecutors’ offices to improve technical capacity and ensure the conduct of exhaustive investigations.

The pledge to defend journalism outlines a path to a safer environment for journalists. A working group is scheduled to be set up in the first quarter of 2025 to move forward with implementation, under the coordination of the Secretariat of the Interior.

* More information on the pledge to protect journalists here.

* Source: Reporters Without Borders