TIJUANA, BAJA CALIFORNIA — The mother of slain photojournalist Margarito Martínez Esquivel asked Alejandro Encinas Rodríguez, Mexico’s deputy interior minister responsible for human rights, for justice Thursday during a forum in Tijuana about the failed system meant to protect journalists.
“I only ask for justice. All I want to ask of you is justice for my son because my son, sir, was a good man. He was dedicated to his work and his family,” said Eglantina Esquivel, who also worked at one time as a reporter and journalist in Tijuana and Baja California.
At a forum to sign a collaboration agreement between the Baja California state government and the federal government to better protect journalists, Encinas stressed the necessity for both levels of government to coordinate with each other to end violence against journalists.
“So that the perpetrators, many of whom are part of government bodies, particularly at the municipal level, are prosecuted and punished,” said Encinas.
Encinas also spoke about the need to strengthen the judicial and criminal courts system in Mexico, as a way of protecting journalists by not allowing criminals to get away with violence. He called for fighting “the corruption and the impunity that prevails.”
After the collaboration agreement was signed, reporters voiced some of their concerns, including labor rights and the responsibilities of media companies to protect their employees. They also expressed frustration with the protection mechanism, partly they say because it lumps together journalists with people who run social media pages aimed at sharing information between criminal groups.
“We’re discontent. Because the federal and state government was protecting criminals that are NOT reporters that run Facebook pages for narco-traffickers that do nothing more than operate as look-outs for criminal groups,” one reporter told the committee.