ALFREDO AZCARATE VARELA
THE BAJA POST/EDITOR
According to the NGO Reporters Without Borders, the deadliest country for journalists in 2020 was Mexico, where eight of them were murdered, while four journalists were killed in India, and three in Honduras, which is the second place for the second yer in a row, while Mexico averages between 8 and 10 journalists killed every year since several years ago.
Journalism is one of the most difficult jobs in some countries, but there are some where it can be a lot worse, dangerous, lethal, deadly, they have given their lives exposing the truth and questioning the system, be it reporting about Government or Corporations, criminal organizations and crooked politicians, a journalist’s assignment may become its own demise.
Reporters Without Borders, an international organization, that has pledged to defend the right to report freely and the work of journalists, informed that 50 professional journalists, citizen journalists and other media workers were killed in 2020 just for doing their jobs, a little less than 53 press and media workers murdered in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic didn´t have an impact these figures.
The NGO informed that 42 of them were signaled and/or murdered for their information coverage, while 8 of them died while doing their job, 48 of them were men and 2 women, the most worrisome fact is that 34 of them were killed in countries at peace.
Reporters Without Borders has noted a very frightening trend, because during recent years many journalists who died while working were doing their jobs in war or conflict zones, but during 2020, there were more of them murdered in countries which are at peace, with no conflict whatsoever happening there.
It is often said that journalists are victims of the risks that come with their jobs, but that has been changing because they are being murdered more and more when they investigate and cover sensitive subjects, the right to access information is under attack, more than ever, and information is a universal right, according to Cristophe Deloire.
A sad example of that is Rouhallah Zam, who was executed by the Iranian government only because he had been covering and reporting on anti-Government demonstrations about 4 years ago, in one of the most dreadful and horrendous crime against the free press.
A Mexican journalist, Julio Valdivia, from the journal El Mundo was decapitated in Veracruz and another one, Victor Alvarez, editor of the Wen news outlet Punto x Punto was cut to pieces in Acapulco, both crimes are unsolved, no suspects arrested.
In Honduras, Luis Almendares, independent journalist, was killed because he had been investigating delicate subjects, exposing corruption in local elections and police brutality, he was shot death and authorities haven´t done any serious investigation about it, and it is the second deadliest country for journalists in the world.
Here are 47 journalists identified by Reporters Without Borders who died last year as a result of their work:
Nekzad Rahmatollah, Afghanistan, AP/Al Jazeera
Malalai Maiwan, Afghanistan, Enekaas TV
Dayee Aliyas, Afghanistan, Azadi Radio
Amiri Zamir, Afghanistan, Khurshid TV
Iliyas Hossain, Bangladesh, Dainik Bijoy
Abelardo Liz, Colombia, Emisora Nación Nasa
Luis Alonzo Almendares, Honduras, Independent
Jorge Posas, Honduras, 45Tv
German Gerardo Vallecillo, Honduras, 45Tv
Mohamed Monir, Egypt, Independent
Rakesh Singh Nirbhik, India, Rashtriya Swaroop
Parag Bhuyan Pratidin, India,Time media group
Isravel Moses, India, Tamizhan TV
Shubham Mani Tripathi, India, Kampu Mail
Rouhollah Zam, Amadnews, Iran
Huner Rasool, Iraq, Gali Kurdistan
Youssef Satar, Iraq, independent photojournalist
Safaa Ghali, Iraq, Dijlah TV
Ahmad Abdelsamad, Iraq, Dijlah TV
Jaime Daniel Castaño Zacaria, Mexico, PrensaLibreMx
Israel Vázquez Rangel, Mexico, El Salmantino
Arturo Alba Medina, Mexico, Noticiero de Telediario
Julio Valdivia Rodríguez, Mexico, Diario El Mundo
Pablo Morrugares, Mexico, PM Noticias
Víctor Fernando Álvarez Chávez, Mexico, Punto x Punto