Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Caught in the Line of Fire


Mexican journalists trying to do their jobs are often caught in the line of fire.

"To be journalist in Mexico, it's very difficult, you know," says Daisy Rios. The 23-year-old Televisa reporter has already seen more death than many seasoned reporters.


In February, Reynosa, Mexico was rocked by gunfire. Rios found herself in the middle of a deadly firefight.

"We hear everybody screaming. Kids very scared," she explains.

Rios and her photographer took shelter at a nearby school.

"It was a very stressful situation. Sometimes I feel scared when we cover these kinds of stories," she adds.


The kinds of stories she's talking about are happening with frightening regularity in Mexico these days.

Fourteen thousand people have died due to drug-related violence in the past three years. That's when the Mexican government launched an anti-drug offensive.

Rios knows bad timing could cost her life. Arriving at a crime scene too early could put her face-to-face with the killers.

Twenty-six journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2005. In that same time, 10 journalists were killed in Afghanistan.

Another challenge facing journalists in Mexico is restrictions on what journalists can and cannot cover. Rios says she is discouraged from certain stories.

"Not like threats," she explains. "Not exactly like threats."

She tells us investigative reporting is a casualty of Mexico's drug war. People who dig too much end up dead.

Rios adds journalists in Mexico don't need to be heroes. She says they just need to report what they see, even if it does put them in the line of fire.
 
Reporter caught in the middle of a gunfight between sicarios and military while reporting in Reynosa, Mexico.

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