Latin America was the deadliest region for journalists in 2022

More than half the murders happened in Ukraine, Mexico and Haiti.

by Buenos Aires Herald
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At least 67 journalists and media workers were killed in 2022, the most since 2018, according to a report by press freedom nonprofit, the Committee to Protect Journalists.

More than half of the 67 killings happened in just three countries –Ukraine (15), Mexico (13), and Haiti (7). Out of that total, which represented an increase of nearly 50% compared with 2021, 30 were killed in Latin America. As a result, the report deemed the region as “the deadliest” for journalists in 2022.

In Mexico and Haiti, the two most lethal countries in the region, reporters were specifically targeted for their work, and most perpetrators have not been held accountable for their crimes, the CPJ found. Thirteen murders were documented in Mexico, the most ever reported in a single year. In at least three cases, journalists were killed for reporting on crime and politics, and had received threats prior to their deaths.

Apart from the seven killings registered in Haiti, CPJ also documented work-related killings of four journalists in Brazil, Chile, and Colombia. The organization is still investigating the motive in the deaths of six reporters in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Paraguay. In Ukraine, the deadliest country for reporters, 13 media workers were killed. While most were murdered during the early stages of the war, the report states that their situation is still precarious and that they are often targeted by Russian forces.

Argentina

The report came on the eve of the 26th anniversary of the murder of José Luis Cabezas, the last journalist to be murdered in Argentina. The photojournalist was killed in the coastal city of Pinamar a year after taking photos of Alfredo Yabrán, one of the country’s most powerful and secretive businessmen at the time. One night, after a party in Pinamar, Cabezas was kidnapped, shot, and burnt. He was 36. 

Nine men were convicted, including Yabrán’s chief of security. As the authorities were investigating him, the businessman shot himself. 

Cabezas’ murder became a symbol of the fight against violence towards journalists in Argentina, along with the remembrance of those who were disappeared during the last dictatorship, which ended 1983. The country hasn’t registered similar crimes ever since.

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