Preparing for Trouble

Mexico—which Americans often think of as our friendly, tequila-providing neighbor to the south—placed second, after Iraq, on the 2006 Reporters without Borders list of countries most hostile to journalists. Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho knows just how far Mexican authorities will go to shut journalists up. After her 2005 book, Demons of Eden, implicated powerful people in a Cancun child pornography ring, she became a target. Cacho had reported that a Cancun hotel owner named Jean Succar Kuri was orchestrating a child pornography and prostitution ring. She also alleged that a well-placed entrepreneur was protecting Succar Kuri.

Eight months after the book appeared, Cacho was arrested in Cancun by police from the state of Puebla. She was driven to a beachfront pier and told to jump. Fortunately, Cacho is savvy and well connected, and a flurry of urgent faxes to the government and human-rights groups was sent just in time to save her. The police backed down, and after being held in jail for half a day, Cacho was released unharmed. A few months later, audio tapes of Puebla’s governor plotting with the entrepreneur to imprison and intimidate Cacho were anonymously provided to a national paper.

[ from Mexico’s Most Wanted Journalist, an interview with Lydia Cacho ]

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~ by Jay Taber on May 2, 2007.

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