City journalist outlines risks of Mexico

With a photojournalist killed Friday, five reporters slain in 2008, and a total of 24 journalists killed since 2000, covering news in Mexico is pretty risky.

With a photojournalist killed Friday, five reporters slain in 2008, and a total of 24 journalists killed since 2000, covering news in Mexico is pretty risky.

But Calgarian David Agren, a reporter for The News, a Mexico City-based English language newspaper, has done it for the past four years.

To explain the violence in the land of tequila and sombreros, he points to the power of criminal groups and the corruption of law enforcement agencies.

“The big problem is impunity,” Agren said. “No one gets convicted of anything.

“Most journalists here that get into trouble are targeted by narcotics-trafficking gangs, who are incredibly ruthless.”

Agren said he avoids narcotics stories, instead writing about Mexican politics. Still, there are times when he feels threatened.

“Covering government is a pretty safe gig. It might get a bit dodgy this spring, when I’ll start going into rural areas and backwards southern states to cover elections. Politics down there is still rather primitive — go give everyone a beer and a sandwich and then herd them off to the polling station.”

One photojournalist was killed and another seriously injured after being shot while heading to cover an auto accident in southern Mexico Friday.

 
 
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