La denuncia della giornalista messicana Lydia Cacho: in Messico vogliono eliminare il giornalismo…Dal Guardian dell’11.4.15:
‘They want to erase journalists in Mexico’
Mexican journalist, author and campaigner Lydia Cacho is in London this week to rally support for those who risk their lives to expose corruption
I suddenly had a clearer understanding than ever of the power that journalism has to give a voice to those who have been silenced by the crushing weight of violence.”
So wrote Mexico’s best-known journalist and human rights campaigner, Lydia Cacho, upon seeing her colleagues from the press gather to cover her arrival for interrogation before judges at Puebla, central Mexico, after what she calls a “legal kidnap” by the police.
The first stage of that prolonged ordeal 10 years ago had been a terrifying 36-hour drive from her home in the coastal state of Quintana Roo to the courthouse and jail, during which she had been sexually violated, threatened with death and “disappearance”, and horribly intimidated.
Cacho was to be charged with libel after the publication of a book, The Demons of Eden, which revealed a sex-trafficking and pederast-paedophile ring with connections to power on high. The appalling story of power’s revenge, its searing impact on Cacho and the implications of the affair for all reporters is told in a further book, Memorias de una Infamia (Memories of Infamy), in which, vindicated by subsequent events and trials, Cacho demonstrates that the pederasts and sex criminals were protected by the governor of Puebla state, by the judiciary and by people even higher up – with connections also to drug trafficking.
The foreword is written by the one reporter who worked alongside Cacho during her ordeal, revealing crucial material – including phone taps – that swung the narrative from the jaws of incarceration and torture into her favour. This wasCarmen Aristegui, Mexico’s most famous broadcaster, who was sacked last month by her employer, MVS Radio, after revealing that the wife of President Enrique Peña Nieto had acquired a vast luxury property from a group that had won several lucrative government contracts.
The fate of the two journalists has stirred to fever pitch the discourse about repression of free speech and the acute physical dangers faced by journalists in Mexico. Scores of reporters have been killed – often tortured and decapitated – in what is now seen as a pincer-movement against their work by drug cartels and the state.
The Los Angeles Times reported: “The loss of one of Mexico’s most critical journalistic voices comes as revelations of corruption and killings by police and the army have roiled the country and plunged Peña Nieto into the worst crisis of his 27-month presidency.”
While all this was happening last month, Peña Nieto was a guest of the Queen and the British government.
Cacho – who has won innumerable awards for her work and was made a Chevalier d’Honneur of the French Republic – will rally support this week for Aristegui and her endangered colleagues at the London Book Fair, part of a PEN festival focusing on Mexico.
Ahead of her visit, Cacho told the Observer: “After all these years, every time my mobile phone rings and I see the name of a colleague I fear the worst: assassination, kidnapping or forced disappearance. When I was arrested 10 years ago, I was not so well-known, at least not to the broader news readers; now I’ve published 10 books and still live under tremendous pressure from corrupted politicians and traffickers who want me either dead or exiled and silenced.”
Of her friend, Cacho added: “Carmen Aristegui is probably the most famous newscast journalist in our country. She was fired most probably for investigating the president, which happened months after I was fired from El Universal, one of the main national newspapers. If this is happening to us, the visible ones, can you imagine what local reporters are going through in the provinces, where rule of law is almost nonexistent?”