Tetra Tech is strengthening the commitment and capabilities of the Government of Mexico (GOM) and civil society organizations to improve protection of human rights and freedom of expression for journalists and human rights defenders.

The number and scale of aggressions against journalists and human rights defenders in Mexico are escalating, threatening the advancement of good governance, access to information, and free speech. Mexico has the highest number of disappeared journalists and is the second most dangerous country in the world in which to practice journalism; prosecutions of known murders, even when committed in broad daylight, rarely occur. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) selected Tetra Tech to help address these issues by working to strengthen the commitment and capacity of the GOM and civil society organizations to operate and sustain human rights protection systems; improve prevention of human rights abuses; and reduce impunity for crimes committed against journalists and human rights defenders.

Our team coordinated a successful project start-up, introducing the project to counterparts to get their buy-in and beginning to implement key activities including revising and drafting regulations and policy and coordinating inter-agency collaboration at the national and state level. ProVoces also has developed and begun implementing an institutional assessment using USAID’s Organizational Performance Index (OPI) tool to strengthen the capacities of the National Mechanism to Protect Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (NPM), the Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE), and civil society organizations to deliver on their stated missions.

The ProVoces team is actively collaborating with the GOM and civil society organizations to prevent and deter violations, improve prevention efforts, and improve prosecution rates, while increasing visible political leadership and broadening demand for institutional commitment to the protection of journalists and human rights defenders.

ProVoces also analyzed FEADLE's processes to streamline standard procedures and completed a civil society organization mapping exercise in Nuevo León, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Mexico City that will allow the project to identify key organizational partners in the implementation of ProVoces activities. At the national level, the project works with NPM, FEADLE, and civil society organizations with a nationwide reach; locally the project will ensure that program activities reach the state offices of federal entities in Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Mexico City. The team also works to promote synergies so that experienced civil society organizations can share protection and prevention strategies with local organizations to spark dialogues, agreements, and collaborations with the government and the private sector.

By working collaboratively at the national and local levels, Tetra Tech aims to improve prevention of human rights abuses throughout Mexico.