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Making a killing: a special investigation on the risks facing Mexican journalists

September 23, 2017

The eastern state of Veracruz is by far the most dangerous place in Mexico for journalists.

Pablo Pérez, a freelance journalist from Mexico City, was driving through the lawless southern state of Guerrero with two colleagues from the capital and four local reporters, when they were held up by hordes of armed men. Pérez was working on a story about locals displaced by drug-related violence. Now he would witness it first-hand.

“We’d just left the most dangerous zone and passed through an army checkpoint, which made us think we were in a safe area,” Pérez told Index shortly after the incident on 13 May. “But no, just one mile down the road we were stopped by a group of 80 to 100 young men, several of them carrying guns. They ransacked our vehicles and stole all our equipment, money and identification. They took one of our cars and left us with the other. They told us they had informants at the checkpoint and that they’d burn us alive if we spoke to the soldiers.”

2017 is on course to be the most deadly year on record for Mexican journalists.

Shocked but unharmed, Pérez and his colleagues were survivors of Mexico’s worst press freedom crisis in recent memory. A record 11 journalists were murdered last year and 2017 is on course to surpass that grim tally.

Click here to read the complete report at Index on Censorship (subscription required for full access)

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