Sunday, March 31, 2013

Women Journalists of Juarez

Vice, the off-beat online journalism website, has posted a half-hour video, in Spanish with subtitles, about the female journalists of Juarez, Mexico, where over 10,000 people (out of a population of 1.5 million) have been murdered by drug lords, gangs, and federal police in a monster fight over turf and access to US drug routes.  Things have calmed down for the moment, but nothing has been solved, and justice is delayed while basic safety denied to the people of Juarez.

There are many courageous men telling the story, but this film centers on the women journalists.  Here's the Vice lead-in to the video.  I hope you will take the time to watch it.  What would you do if this was your city?
The violence that escalated during Felipe Calderon’s term mostly took place in Ciudad Juarez, right on the Texas border. Over the last five and a half years, more than 11,000 people have been killed in Juarez. It’s thought that the violence escalated once the Sinaloa Cartel tried to kick out the local Juarez Cartel in order to control this entry point into the US. During the last year, the violence has decreased a bit, perhaps because the Sinaloa Cartel won, and perhaps because the federal police and the army, who were also fighting the cartels, finally left.
We went to Ciudad Juarez to meet the journalists who cover politics and crime for the Diario de Juarez. All of them are women and they have covered more crimes than anyone we can think of. They are also some of the bravest women we've ever met. We followed them around the city as they covered political rallies of the ruling party, PAN, and to crime scenes, to try to understand what happened there over the past few years and why the candidates were not fully addressing the most glaring issue in Mexican politics right now.