Wait, Peña Nieto Wants to Become a Journalist After His Term as Mexico’s President Ends?

Sep 4, 2018
10:38 AM

This has to be a joke, because if not, BuzzFeed News’ Karla Zabs is right: it would be some WTF alert. In a video clip shared by Milenio last Friday, outgoing Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto told Carlos Marín want he plans to do after he leaves office later this year. EPN’s answer?

A journalist.

WTF indeed.

Here is the clip:

Around 40 seconds into the clip, Peña Nieto says that he might “reinvent” himself and become a journalist, since he thinks that journalists “do well” in their profession.

Like Zabs tweeted: “More than 40 journalists have been killed during his administration.”

And Human Rights Watch has more about it:

Journalists, particularly those who report on crime or criticize officials, face harassment and attack by both government authorities and criminal groups. Journalists are often driven to self-censorship as a result.

From 2000 through October 2017, 104 journalists were killed and 25 disappeared, according to the Attorney General’s Office. The nongovernmental organization (NGO) Article 19 documented eight cases of journalists killed and one disappeared between January and July 2017.

Authorities routinely fail to investigate crimes against journalists adequately, often preemptively ruling out their profession as a motive. The CNDH reported in 2016 that 90 percent of crimes against journalists in Mexico since 2000 have gone unpunished, including 82 percent of killings and 100 percent of disappearances. Since its creation in July 2010, the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes against Freedom of Expression has opened more than 1,000 investigations into crimes against journalists. As of October 2017, it has brought charges in 115 cases and obtained only 3 convictions.

In July 2017, an investigation by Citizen Lab, a research center at the University of Toronto, showed that at least 11 human rights activists and journalists (as well as the 16-year-old son of a journalist) and members of the GIEI had been targets of a spyware campaign conducted with sophisticated software bought by the Mexican government. A senator and two high-ranking members of the main opposition party were also targeted. The affected activists filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office, which opened an investigation.

By October 2016, 617 people had received protection under a 2012 law to protect journalists and human rights defenders. However, protection has been slow to arrive or, in some cases, insufficient.

By the way, if you want to catch the full interview, here are parts 1, 2 and 3.