Latin America accounted for more than half of the 867 coronavirus-related journalist deaths in the world since March 2020, according to recent data from a European-based nonprofit.
The Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), which tracked cases in 69 countries, found about 460 journalists died in Latin America.
Brazil is the worst-hit globally for media during the pandemic with 109 deaths. The country also has the worst record in 2021 with 50 deaths in just two months.
Peru followed Brazil with 108 fatalities while Mexico recorded 88.
“PEC deplores this large number of victims from the coronavirus and sends its condolences to families and colleagues,” PEC Secretary-General Blaise Lempen said in a statement.
Lempen said it is “essential” for journalists to have “rapid access to vaccination so that they can do their work in the field without endangering their lives.”
Asia follows Latin America with more than 150 deaths, while Europe recorded over 145.
The total number, 867, equals more than two pandemic-related journalist fatalities every day for a full year.
Lempen said the true figure is likely much higher because PEC data contains cases only which “were featured in local media, referenced by journalism associations, or noted by regional PEC correspondents.”
In mid-February, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) voiced support for media workers to be included in priority groups for coronavirus vaccination campaigns — especially in Brazil, Peru, and Uruguay.
Latin American countries have registered a total of more than 22M coronavirus cases and over 700,000 deaths.
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