Elections and football advice for members: INSI June update

INSI’s members’ webinar in June offered safety tips and suggestions to our members covering the 1 July elections in Mexico.

Mexico’s presidential race has been described as the bloodiest in recent history with hundreds of candidates, politicians or office holders killed since nationwide campaigning started in September 2017. Mexico is also one of the most dangerous countries for the media.

General safety tips

  • Avoid going out at night (especially outside Mexico City).
  • Sexual harassment of female journalists is common. Women should wear trousers and avoid travelling alone late at night on public transport.


  • Mexico City International Airport is fairly secure: there are cash machines inside, and registered airport taxis, which can be prepaid in the airport, are available.
  • Uber is widely used in Mexico City and considered to be safer than taxis.


  • The states of Guerrero; Sinaloa; Veracruz; Jalisco and Tamaulipas have particularly high levels of violence.

Cyber security

  • Avoid connecting to free, public Wifi without the use of a VPN – especially at political rallies or at regional press offices set up by the government.

Media casualites: June 2018 

Radio journalist Jairo Sousa was shot dead in Brazil’s northern Pará state. Shujaat Bukhari, a leading journalist and editor in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, was shot to death as he left the offices of his newspaper. Journalist Dennis Denora was gunned down in the Philippines. 

INSI members meet with Facebook, Twitter, Google 

INSI members continued to exchange ideas with Facebook, Twitter and Google in June about how to tackle the online abuse of journalists. During this second meeting between our members and the social media companies we discussed possible ways to make the platforms safer for journalists. 

Media warned of cyber scrutiny at football World Cup 

Over the past six months, INSI has held a series of events for its members focused on covering the FIFA World Cup in Russia and set up a network for our members to exchange safety information during the tournament.

Our experts downplayed the threats of hooliganism and terrorism but warned journalists they may be under constant cyber scrutiny by the authorities. Other tips on covering the month-long tournament included:

  • Traffic gridlock and a high rate of road traffic accident deaths make public transport a safer option than driving.
  • Hospitals insist on cash payments before giving any treatment.
  • ISIS supporters, working alone or in small, autonomous cells with connections to the Middle East, are the most likely to carry out any attacks that take place.
  • Always assume you are being monitored. Don’t go anywhere without someone knowing where you are.
  • Never leave a laptop unattended, even in a hotel room. If it must be left, consider putting it in a plastic bag, sealed with a branded seal. 

Image by AFP