Environmental journalism is in danger: UNESCO – El Sol de México

The region of Latin America and the caribbean is where more attacks against environmental journalists are perpetrated all over the world. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in the last 15 years there have been 253 attacks against the press that covers this topic.

Communicators independent and attached journalists to media outlets that serve environmental problems face threats, censorshipphysical, psychological and cyber attacks by government actors and the private sector, reports the UNESCO.

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Latin Americathe second area on the planet with the most murders against environmental journalists, such as the case of Abisaí Pérez Romerojournalist and activist who on February 13, 2023 was found dead in the municipality of Tula, Hidalgo in Mexicowhere he was researching the socio-environmental impact of some works in the Mezquital Valley.

According to the death of Abishaihe National Union of Press Editors (SNRP) issued a statement detailing its investigations into the Atotonilco Wastewater Treatment Plant and the works of Eastern Emission Tunnelin the Mezquital Valley, both works questioned by the local population.”

Pérez Romero is one of the 11 victims of homicide against environmental journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean in the last 15 years.

Inside the report Press and Planet in danger, UNESCO informs that in Latin America and the Caribbean is where the press more documents environmental issues. Communicators in the region risk multiple types of attacks when covering protests, land conflicts, mining and fossil fuel issues, as well as deforestation and pollution.

At a global level, the attacks against the environmental press they go in increase. In the last 15 years there have been 300 attacks. 42 percent more compared to the previous period.

“The reporters covering environmental issues They are the chroniclers of humanity’s greatest challenge and play a role in making that responsible political actors be held accountable in the face of this crisis. However the environmental journalism it’s a dangerous field“, warns the report of the UNESCO.

The risk faced by journalists covering this source frequently intersects with lucrative economic activitiess, which adds complexity and danger to their functions, the organization warns.

“Cover topics such as illegal logging, poaching or clandestine dumping of waste involves bringing to light actions that are intertwined with local economies and sometimes, international“, highlights the document.

This, the report indicates, usually causes hostility in businessmenlittle ones local operators and Criminal organizationsall of them with vested interests in continuing their activities away from public scrutiny.

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“These stakeholders often see the journalists environmental as direct threats to its operations (…) It is known that State and private agents, as well as criminal groups, have intimidated, harassed or even physically harmed journalists. in order to silence their information.”

This adds to the precariousness who live reporters that address this problem, “since it is often left in the hands of small, underfunded media outlets“.

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