The 24th and 25th of October 2022, the EU-LAT Network organised two public events in collaboration with the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, where journalists and policymakers discussed what it means to be a journalist in Central America and Mexico. On Monday the 24th of October, journalists from El Salvador and Mexico gathered in a panel discussion to discuss their experiences of smear campaigns, defamation, persecution, criminalisation and violence. This message was conveyed to the European Parliament conference on journalists in danger in Central America and Mexico on the 25th of October, with two MEPs and a member of the EEAS on the panel.

During the conference, the journalists explained the political and legal restrictions and violations journalists face in the region, and questioned what the EU could do to protect them. At particular risk is the deteriorating condition of female journalists, who experience discrimination and violence according to the intersection of being a journalist and a women, often exacerbated by ethnic or racial discrimination.

In line with Von Der Leyen’s renewed commitment to the protection of free journalism, MEP Alicia Homs concluded the conference with the following words:
“Journalism is about empowering citizens. If journalism is weakened, democracy is weakened. We must fight these trends, together, to safeguard democracies.”

Watch the recording of the event in the European Parliament here.