“Every journalist's life is in danger”

Cartels and government authorities tried to silence the media in Ciudad Juárez with violence and threats. But journalists in the Mexican border town refused to give up and created a network to protect their colleagues. 

Press responds to murderers

The drug-related violence in Ciudad Juárez in northern Mexico in the past 20 years has made the border town into one of Mexico's most dangerous places. Shootings, kidnappings, carjackings, and curfews are a part of everyday life. The murder of two journalists prompted El Diario de Juárez to take a new approach. 

A letter from Elena Poniatowska

Elena Poniatowska is one of Mexico's most famous authors and commentators. Here we reproduce a letter to the Dissident Blog about the role PEN's campaigns actually play in today's Mexico. 

La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha

Poet and literary critic Víctor Manuel Mendiola looks with dismay at what is happening in his home country of Mexico. In a very personal reflection, he recalls memories of times long past—the Mexico City of his childhood. 

A land where the storyteller is the story

What actually happens to the people in a country under the yoke of violence? The image of Mexico as a violent country risks ultimately becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Jennifer Clement, poet, until recently president of the Mexican PEN and author of several works of creative nonfiction and in-depth reports reflects on the real violence and its shadow online.

“Impunity is still the rule”

74 journalists have been murdered in Mexico since 2000. Not a single case has led to charges or sentences. Either because the crimes are being committed with approval from the powers that be or due to a flawed legal system. Pat Hirschl and Lucina Kathmann from PEN San Miguel write about the consequences of when justice doesn't work. 

The Mexico of Juárez

Puns and ambiguities are one of Luis Miguel Aguilar's trademarks. His poem entitled “Juárez” refers to both national hero Benito Juárez, 1806–1872, and the city of Juárez—the most dangerous place on earth.

Testimony #1: “We got out of Tamaulipas alive”

Most of the times journalists are kidnapped in Mexico, it ends in murder. Raymundo Pérez Arellano got lucky—he survived. He tells the Dissident Blog what happened and why he was kidnapped. 

Testimony #2: ”I prayed to God and left myself in his hands”

Héctor Gordoa was supposed to write about a murder that was posted as a clip on Youtube. He was about to face the same fate himself. He was released—if he promised to write what the drug mafia said. Or else his friends would die.

This is reality—attack on freedom of the press in Mexico in 2011

Darío Ramírez, from ARTICLE 19, a freedom of expression organization, gives us up-to-date background information about the threats to journalists in Mexico—what does violence look like in the statistics that are a matter of life and death?


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