A Unifor Social Justice Fund project to help protect journalists in Mexico, one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist, has already begun to revitalize their union.
The project began in the spring, and continues for three years.
With funding from the SJF, the Sindicato Nacional de Redactores de la Prensa (SNRP), which represents journalists in the country, held meetings across Mexico over the summer to talk to members about the changes they need to stay safe on the job.
Participants in those meetings will gather together in Mexico City in late November to compare notes, and come up with a handbook for union activists to enhance journalist safety.
The effort has pumped new energy and optimism the SNRP, a longstanding union in Mexico that has suffered in the face of repeated attacks on journalists, but now feels hopeful about the future, Peruvian journalist Zuliana Lainez reported to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
“This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Unifor,” said Lainez, who represents Latin America at the IFJ.
The project is being administered by the IFJ’s Latin American office. Lainez attended Unifor’s Media Council in June, where she participated in a panel about the dangers of international reporting and gave the keynote address. She also visited the Family Education Centre in Port Elgin.
Nine journalists have been killed in Mexico so far this year, Lainez said. Across Latin America, 24 journalists have been killed. Since 1992, only one journalist murder has been prosecuted to conviction, making Mexico one of the riskiest countries to be a journalist.
Throughout November, Unifor is participating in an IFJ campaign to fight such impunity with which journalists are killed. You can follow the campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #endimpunity, or at ifj.org.