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Ildefonso Ortiz

Mexico’s elite crime reporter lives on this side of the border

Where the narcos thrive

One of the main fall-outs from Mexico’s war on the drug cartels, which kicked into high gear in December 2006, is the demise of crime reporting south of the border. Not only are the journalists/news photographers killed for the work they do, or did, but the cartel gunmen often do it in the most painful fashion. In 2017, for example, a 35-year-old crime reporter, Gumaro Pérez Aguilando, working out of Veracruz, was gunned down while stopping by his son’s elementary school to attend a Christmas party.

One can easily see the effect that the killings have had on crime has a list of “Journalists and media workers killed in Mexico.” It’s both sad and informative, reaching all the way back to 1860. There is a subsection titled “During the Mexican Drug War,” which names journalists killed since January 2007. It’s easy to see how the cartel killings, beheadings, hangings of news reporters from road bridges has decimated the crime coverage. Approximately 20 were killed annually in the early years; the number dwindling slowly as more and more journalists left the profession; until we get to 2018 when the number murdered dropped to two. So far, this year, one has been killed.



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