Slide Amnesty International UK / Media Awards AWARD CATEGORIES

Over 140 dead in 20 years: can Mexico save its journalists?

William Warnes – University of East Anglia


An 800 word article covering the challenging of free speech in modern day Mexico. Over 140 journalists have been killed in the last 20 years, with many human rights groups claiming it is one of the most dangerous places in the world for the profession. It is believed the violence is coming from organised crime with a large number of reporters claiming they have lost faith in authorities and their own government in tackling the issue. The Mexican media industry appears to be haunted by a war on free speech, with many journalists now resorting to self-censorship in order to avoid losing their lives. Many have begun to flee the country, with a large proportion frequently changing address and avoiding lengthy public contact with family. A large number of killings have been particularly brutal, with an incident in 2016 seeing national reporter Miroslava Breach shot eight times in front of her 14-year-old son. These are not one-off incidents and something must be done to protect both journalists and free speech in Mexico. This article exposes the brutal killings of over 120 reporters alongside quotes from those still being targeted, providing a first-hand insight into life as a Mexican journalist.


Published in Concrete, the University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper, the article has reached a wide audience of students and academics alike. With a following of over 4,000 people on Facebook alone, the piece had widespread exposure on social media, the newspaper’s website, and in print. With the article focussing on a subject not very well documented, students at UEA and general readers of Concrete were exposed to an issue all-too-often glossed over by the mainstream press. Following the publication of this piece, a double-page spread of ‘Global Investigates’ became a regular feature in Concrete to provide a platform to expose further human rights issues and topics which face little to no coverage in the wider media. With the target audience being students at UEA, the issue became a topic for discussion and widespread outrage on an already politically-charged campus.

Supporting Literature