Rising Murders of Journalists Prompt Mexican Newspaper to Shut Down

6 years 10 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, April 12 2017 Apr 12, 2017 April 12, 2017 10:10 PM April 12, 2017 in News

WESLACO – A Mexican newspaper is closing its doors after the ongoing violence across the border claimed the life of one of their reporters.

Although dangers impact his daily life and career, border journalist Victor Castillo said bringing information to people in Mexico is worth putting his life on the line.

“I would say maybe about six years ago. That’s when it got very complicated because of the escalating violence in Mexico and drug-related violence,” he said.

Castillo said there is one constant precaution he takes.

“Not only reporters from the U.S. but also from Mexico need to be careful not to mention cartel names or any cartel leaders names in our stories,” he said.

Violence in the country caused Mexican newspaper Norte to shut down earlier this month. Norte president Oscar Cantu Murguia said he made the decision to protect his colleagues.

“I took the decision because I don’t want any employee of mine to face the same consequences that Miroslava Breach lived. I don’t want them to take that risk. I don’t think that now is the time to be a martyr,” he said.

Murguia said he wants to see the government of Chihuahua to step up and take action against criminals who threaten, hurt and kill journalists.

“The closing of our print and digital editions were done in protest of the immense impunity that exists with murders towards journalists in which criminals don’t face any consequences,” he said.

Castillo said reporting in Mexico takes courage.

“I received a phone call from a quote unquote colleague reporter and he says, ‘Victor, I understand you’re in this migrant shelter if I were you I would get out of there as soon as possible. You never know what ground you’re standing,” he said.

Castillo said he supports Murguia’s decision. He said when someone else’s life is in your hands you have to make a call to keep them safe.

Murugia employed around 120 staff members for more than 27 years at the newspaper. He said majority of the staff wasn’t ready to leave the business despite the shutdown. 

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