In a recent opinion column, Jan Jarab, representative of the OHCHR in Mexico, analysed the security situation of journalists and HRDs in Mexico and characterized the first four months of 2017 as “chilling”, due to the murder of at least five journalists, two HRDs, and two guards assigned to protect beneficiaries of the National Protection Mechanism.

In his analysis, Mr. Jarab points out that, according to international standards, the State has the obligation to protect; that their collusion exists between authorities and organized crime; and that, in many cases, state agents commit grave human rights violations.

He also emphasizes, of the 125 cases of murdered journalists in Mexico between 2010 and 2017 – according to the CNDH – the majority remain in impunity, as do cases of disappearance, affirming that “the State is, without a doubt, responsible for this vicious circle of impunity.

If this does not change, all protection measures will be insufficient and will only serve as a stopgap.”

These declarations were made in the aftermath of the murder of HRD Mirima Rodriguez in Tamaulipas and renowned journalist Javier Valdez in Sinaloa.

Regarding the case of Mr. Valdez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, David Kaye, and the IACH Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, Edison Lanza, expressed in a joint communique their consternation at the murder of the journalist and writer, signalling that “violence aims to silence the brave work that journalists such as Javier Valdez carry out in informing Mexican society on issues of public interest, despite constant threats and risk.”

The Special Rapportuers pointed out that in April, they requested that the Mexican Government allow them to jointly conduct an official visit to country.