Freedom House Hails Mexico's Initiative to Protect Journalists
Freedom House Welcomes Mexico's Latest Step to Protect JournalistsFreedom House welcomes the Government of Mexico's latest step to protect journalists and human rights defenders. On November 12, the government appointed a board to oversee the Law for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, which will help ensure adequate protection against attacks to freedom of expression nationwide.
As a next step, Freedom House calls on President-Elect Enrique Pena Nieto to swiftly pass the regulations necessary to put the Law into practice once in office. Freedom House also urges Mexico's states to cooperate with federal authorities in the prosecution of cases against freedom of expression.
In a press conference announcing the Governing Board, Secretary of Interior Alejandro Poire stressed the importance of ensuring dialogue and consensus between civil society and government on the mechanism. Freedom House has played an important role in that dialogue, leading a task force that presented the authorities proposed regulations in August so that the law can go into practice. However, Freedom House expresses concern over government delays approving the regulations which, according to the law, must go into effect by December.
"Appointing the board is an important step," said Mariclaire Acosta, project director for Mexico at Freedom House. "However, it is critical that the Board's work is transparent so that it enjoys public support. In particular, it should ensure transparency in the management of resources allotted to the mechanism."
Political will is critical to ensure that the mechanism leads to successful prosecution of attacks against journalists and human rights defenders, particularly in Mexico's most violent states. Freedom House urges Mexico's state governors to share responsibility by cooperating with federal authorities on the prosecution of cases. So far, 25 states have signed agreements with the federal government approving the mechanism. The remaining seven states must sign these accords immediately.
Mexico is rated Partly Free in Freedom of the World 2012, Freedom House's annual global assessment of political rights and civil liberties, is ranked Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2012, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2012.
To learn more about Freedom and Mexico, visit:
Freedom in the World 2012 Mexico [ http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2012/mexico ]
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