I’m a reporter in Mexico. My life is in danger. The United States wouldn’t give me asylum.

5/25/2017 The Washington Post

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Flickr/Adrián Martínez

On Feb. 5, I walked into the United States from Mexico and turned myself over to immigration authorities for the purpose of seeking political asylum. But even though I have good reason to fear for my life, U.S. officials refused to let me stay. And now I’m in danger again.

I’m a journalist in Acapulco, Mexico. For almost a year, I have been receiving death threats from Mexican federal agents over articles I wrote in Novedades Acapulco, a newspaper there. In February 2016, I witnessed abuses by the Mexican military during a traffic accident. As a journalist, I began taking photographs. Federal agents arrived and began screaming at me. They took away my camera, my identification and my credentials and began hitting me as they told me to stop taking pictures and leave the area. I filed a complaint with the Mexican National Commission for Human Rights. Immediately afterward, I began receiving threats over the phone. A few weeks later, several men arrived at my home, pointed a gun at my forehead and told me to keep quiet. I moved to a different city, but the threatening messages and phone calls continued. Eventually, I moved across the country, hoping that these men would finally forget about me. Unfortunately, it did not take long for them to find me again. I realized that there was no place in Mexico where I could go without fearing I would be killed — the same way so many of my fellow journalists have been. Just this month, award-winning reporter Javier Valdez was killed in Sinaloa. He was the sixth journalist slain in Mexico this year.

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Mexican Journalists Caught in Crossfire of Rival Cartels

5/25/2017 New York Times

journalist-armando-rodriguez-murderMEXICO CITY — Just as each batch of the weekly newspapers was dropped off at newsstands around Culiacan men quickly bought them up as they followed the delivery trucks along their routes.

It occurred twice during one week in February, first with Riodoce, a paper known for its investigations into the dark corners of Sinaloa state’s criminal underworld, and two days later with the upstart La Pared (The Wall). Both papers carried cover story interviews with a drug lord. The men politely scooping up the papers after paying for them allegedly worked for the drug lord’s rivals.

La Pared has since closed shop. Riodoce’s editors continue fighting, though more carefully in the belief that the incident foretold the May 15 murder of the paper’s co-founder Javier Valdez.

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Mexico’s 15 Billion-Dollar Clans

5/24/2017 Forbes

corruptionCollectively, Mexico’s 15 billion-dollar clans are worth $33.3 billion this year, $1.2 billion less than their aggregate wealth a year ago, according to Forbes Mexico’s 2017 billionaire ranking, which lists both individuals’ and families’ net worth.

Eduardo Garcia, author of “La lista Forbes de los mexicanos más ricos en 2017,” (Forbes Mexico’s list of the richest Mexicans in 2017), told me that unlike Forbes‘ flagship The World Billionaires ranks, which focuses on individual or nuclear-family wealth, Forbes Mexico ranks include extended family fortunes. The 15 billionaire clans, published by Forbes Mexico, therefore, are not included in Forbes‘ 2017 billionaire ranking.

Here is the full list of Mexico’s 15 wealthiest dynasties, according to Forbes Mexico.

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Billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil To Boost Internet Speed In Mexico

5/22/2017 Forbes

america movilAmerica Movil (NYSE: AMX), the telecom giant controlled by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helú, expects to roll out a 4.5G network in parts of Mexico by the end of 2017 and gear up for 5G by 2020, Daniel Hajj, the company’s CEO, said at a news conference in Mexico City on Thursday, according to Reuters and Mexican newspaper Reforma.

“We are going to move from a 4G network to a 4.5G network and then 5G… the 4.5G network will be 7 times faster than the current 4G,” Hajj announced.

Hajj explained that 5G capability will boost speeds to 10,000 megabits per second from the current 1,000 and will speed up the time it takes for the Internet to react to less than 5 milliseconds–a fifth of the current rate.

According to The Financial Times, Hajj sketched a future world of geo-localization bracelets that would be able to summon an ambulance immediately if the wearer became ill, and hospitals with access to clinical records held digitally in the cloud.

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Rights Commission: Journalist Kidnapped in Southern Mexico

5/20/2017 New York Times

michoacanenglishMEXICO CITY — Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission is urging authorities to locate a journalist and media executive abducted in the southern state of Michoacan amid a wave of media slayings in recent weeks.

Salvador Adame is reportedly the owner and director of the local channel 6TV.

The rights commission says he was grabbed by armed men and forced into a vehicle Thursday night in the city of Nueva Italia, part of a violence-plagued region known as the “Tierra Caliente” or “Hot Lands.”

In a statement Friday, it also called on Michoacan officials to protect Adame’s family and his co-workers at 6TV.

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Mexican journalists mourn, protest after deadly day

5/17/2017 Reuters

hands holding candleMexican journalists covered news conferences wearing black on Tuesday, and brought pictures of slain colleagues to rallies to put pressure on authorities to act against an escalation of murderous attacks on their trade.

The mourning and protests followed a particularly deadly day for the media in Mexico, where warring drug cartels have made it one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist.

On Monday, veteran organized crime writer Javier Valdez was shot dead by unidentified assailants in the northwestern state of Sinaloa while gunmen in Jalisco state killed a reporter at a small weekly magazine and critically wounded his mother, an executive at the family-run publication.

Authorities have yet to announce arrests in the two new cases, feeding fears of impunity that have become disturbingly familiar to the profession in Mexico.

“We’ve been living in a giant simulation; they say they’re investigating and that freedom of expression is protected, but clearly it’s not,” Juan Carlos Aguilar of the collective Right to Inform said at a protest in Mexico City.

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Separate attacks kill renowned Mexican reporter, wound local magazine executive

5/16/2017 Reuters

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State of Sinaloa

A Mexican reporter renowned for coverage of organized crime was killed in the lawless state of Sinaloa and gunmen attacked an executive of a small weekly magazine on Monday, as authorities struggle to contain renewed bloodshed between drug cartels.

Javier Valdez was killed when assailants opened fire on his car in the state capital, Culiacan, according to RioDoce, the media outlet he co-founded and where he worked.

He was the fifth reporter killed since March, making Mexico one of the deadliest countries for journalism at a time when murder rates are at their highest since the peak of the drug war in 2011.

In Autlan, in the neighboring state of Jalisco that is the territory of the ascendant Jalisco New Generation Cartel, gunmen opened fire on Sonia Cordova, an executive at the Semanario Costeno weekly magazine.

Cordova was wounded and taken to hospital and her adult son was killed in the attack, the state prosecutor’s office said.

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