Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Investigative journalists in Mexico have a new and powerful tool at their disposal in the fight against corruption and other abuses: the digital whistleblowers’ platform Mexicoleaks has been launched. Mexicoleaks was set up with support from Free Press Unlimited and enables whistleblowers to leak information safely and anonymously to the Mexican media and civil society organizations. Because safety and anonymity are important in a country where those in power are not afraid to use brute force to protect their own position.

“Threats and violence are two of the most important reasons why many Mexicans still turn a blind eye to the truth about corruption, smuggling and drugs. Often, potential whistleblowers are afraid to speak out on sensitive issues. As a result, the inhabitants of Mexico almost only hear what the authorities, powerful companies and criminal gangs want them to hear,” says Albana Shala of Free Press Unlimited.

Software for courageous journalists

Mexicoleaks uses open source software made available by theGlobalLeaksorganization. Whistleblowers remain anonymous and choose for themselves which of theeight allied media and civil society organizationsto pass on their information to. Then it is the recipient’s turn: it is the task of the investigative journalists to assess the importance of the story and to verify the facts. Shala: “Despite obstructions and danger there is a courageous group of journalists in Mexico who want to get to the truth at all costs. With modern technology like Mexicoleaks, Free Press Unlimited helps these journalists to inform the Mexican population about what is really going on in their country." 

Online buzz and dismissal before the first story

The renowned Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui has been fired, together with two members of her team, for particapating in Mexicoleaks without authorisation from her executives.
On social media, there has been massive reaction to the launch of Mexicoleaks and this dismissal. One day after the launch on March 10, 2015, @Mexleaks had more than 20,000 followers on Twitter and this number is now approaching 89,000. Mexicoleaks has a network of experts currently carrying out a thorough verification of all information coming in. Now we have to wait for the first disclosure. To be continued.