Impact | Positive
Probability | Medium
Civicus Rating | Repressed
On April 19, the Justice Committee of the Chamber of Deputies approved a bill that seeks to give greater guarantees of protection to the professional secrecy of journalists, and by extension, to the right to freedom of expression. It does so by adding journalists as subjects protected under Article 362 of the National Code of Criminal Procedures which regulates the duty of professional secrecy with respect to their sources.
The deputy who promoted the bill, Raul Bonifaz (Morena-ruling party), clarified that it seeks “the protection of free and broad journalism” by eliminating any “legal or paralegal way that makes possible the disclosure of journalistic sources”. This is due to the fact that revealing this information entails an “obstacle for obtaining information”. In this way, the deputy assures that it will be possible to eliminate the criminal route as a mechanism to “silence journalism and inhibit the exercise of its profession freely”.
Mexico continues to head the list of the most dangerous Latin American countries for the exercise of journalistic work, according to the 2021 Press Freedom Index of Reporters Without Borders. In a regional context of generalized deterioration for the work of journalists, the country holds a deplorable record of violent deaths: throughout 2020, 13 journalists were murdered, many of them while investigating corruption cases in the country.