Access Now is outraged and alarmed by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) recent request to the U.S. government to stop funding the Mexico and Central America branch of freedom of expression organization, Article 19, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
President López Obrador’s request puts the integrity and safety of human rights defenders and journalists in Mexico at risk by creating an environment of hostility and stigmatization towards those who work towards guaranteeing the free expression of ideas in the country — which is indispensable in democratic societies.
Beyond the impact of the president’s request, AMLO’s statements are jeopardizing the work of civil society in the region, potentially deterring other organizations and journalists from criticizing or standing up the to administration.
While USAID is among several funding sources that support Article 19 financially, the agency has no agenda or work objectives, which allows the organization to act in an independent, impartial, and non-partisan manner.
Access Now calls on the Mexican government to respect the work of Article 19 and freedom of expression in the country. The international community must continue its support for organizations working for human rights and freedom of expression in Mexico and throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region.