Mexican Journalists Flee Drug War, Seek Asylum in the US
Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced a series of measures this week designed to safeguard the work of journalists who cover the violent cartel war in that country.
The war has claimed more than 28,000 lives and has become one of the most dangerous stories in the world. Some journalists have taken the ultimate step: fleeing to the United States to seek political asylum.
Now the moment that thousands of Mexican citizens who have fled to the U.S. wait for but very few get to savor has arrived: 52-year-old journalist Jorge Luis Aguirre has been granted political asylum.
Aguirre edits the hard-hitting, irreverent website LaPolaka.com that covers Juarez, Mexico. He fled his city nearly two years ago when he received a death threat, he believes, for writing critically about powerful Chihuahua state officials.
From his exile in El Paso, Texas, Aguirre went to Washington, D.C., last year to testify before the U.S. Senate about his nightmare.
“Today, I live in exile in a foreign country in order to avoid being murdered for my work as a journalist,” he told lawmakers.
Aguirre is believed to be the only Mexican journalist to be granted asylum since the cartel war has exploded in the past four years. Recently, he toasted his good fortune with his family and a few friends in the small backyard of his house in suburban El Paso.
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