Thursday, September 23, 2010

US grants political asylum to the reporter of Mexico

Jorge Luis Aguirre, a Mexican journalist who said he got death intimidation from authorities in his country, has been granted political asylum in the US, the online daily La Polaka reported.

Aguirre, who is La Polaka's editor, fled to the US with his family in November 2008, hours after another reporter was murdered and he received direct death intimidation.

The journalist got 'systematic intimidation from the individual later named to head up the Public Safety Secretariat in Chihuahua, the country's most violent state and home to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's murder capital.

The intimidation stemmed from Chihuahua Attorney General Patricia Gonzalez's unhappiness over stories published by La Polaka.

Aguirre documented the intimidation and testified before the US Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs in Washington March 17, 2009.

President Barack Obama's administration finally arranged the journalist asylum.

As long as the war on drugs does not have an effect on the network of economic interests and punishes the narcopoliticians hidden in positions of power, there will be no hope for peace and progress in Mexico, especially in Juarez.

The journalist has been particularly critical of Chihuahua Gov. Jose Reyes Baeza, who in the face of increasing violence has called for the need to stop the killing and reconstruct the state's social fabric.

The killing, however, has not slowed, with more than 2,000 murders this year in Ciudad Juarez, which has seen some 230,000 people, according to a new study, escape to the US or return to their hometowns in Mexico.

The situation is particularly difficult for journalists, who have been under attack by criminals and, in many cases, by officials.