67 journalists are murdered in 2022; Ukraine and Mexico stand out

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HPD) — Murders of journalists around the world increased 50% in 2022 compared to the previous year, mainly due to attacks in Ukraine, Mexico and Haiti.

According to a report by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), at least 67 media workers were killed in 2022, the highest number since 2018. Journalists in all three countries say that the danger forces them to work in a situation of great stress.

The fact draws attention especially in Haiti, where in 2022 seven journalists were murdered, a huge figure for a small island country of 12 million inhabitants. Some were killed by the gangs that have effectively taken over Port-au-Prince, but at least two were gunned down by police.

Journalist Mackenson Remy, from Radio Caraibes, who still covers news on the street, said that it is no longer known who can be trusted.

“Reporting in Haiti is extremely difficult for journalists, specifically in the capital,” Remy said. “Corruption is everywhere, you can’t trust anyone anymore.”

Remy compared his work on the streets of the city, divided into territories by gangs, with the 1998 film “The Truman Show”, in which the protagonist always feels watched.

CPJ noted that 35 of the killings occurred in Ukraine, Mexico, and Haiti. In Mexico, 13 press workers were assassinated, according to the committee. Other groups say the number is 15, which if true would make 2022 the deadliest year for Mexican journalists in the past three decades. In Ukraine, 15 journalists were killed last year, according to the agency.

The committee was able to confirm that 41 of the 67 journalists were killed “in direct relation to their work” and that it is investigating the motives for the remaining 26 murders.

CPJ said that journalists covering the war in Ukraine “face enormous risks.”

“Press workers frequently sustain shelling injuries while covering the conflict and some report that Russian forces have attacked them,” the committee said in its report.

In Mexico, the homicides appeared to stem from a toxic mix of criminal group violence, local political corruption, and impunity for the killers.

Sonia de Anda, who contributes to the news website Esquina32 in the border city of Tijuana, where two journalists were killed within a week in January 2022, said journalists have changed their work habits or requested police protection.

“All of that changed our dynamic. Reporters today if they go to a place of intrigue, further away, high risk and so on, they tell other colleagues where they are,” De Anda said. He added that requests for official protection increased exponentially after the murders.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *