No Justice for Journalists in Juarez



The Juarez daily paper reported today that an investigator from Mexico’s attorney general was gunned down Wednesday. Pablos Pasillas Fong, 33, of Chihuahua City was in Juarez investigating the death of El Diario journalist Armando Rodríguez Carreón who was killed last November as he was walking his 8-year old daughter to school.

According to El Diario de Juarez, Pasillas had not completed his investigation into the murder.  This is not the first assasination in Juarez of an investigator from the federal attorney general’s office, according to the article. Now Rodriguez’s case is in limbo.

The Observer has written about the plight of Juarez’s journalists in the past. Mexico has become one of the most deadly places in the world for journalists. A few months ago I had the privilege of speaking with El Diario’s editor Rocio Gallegos, at a journalism conference in El Paso. Gallegos said that since Rodriguez’s death the reporters have had to significantly change the way they work. Gallegos said reporters often go to crime scenes with reporters from other media outlets if the story is related to narco trafficking. They also run many stories without bylines as well. And they do many of their stories by telephone rather than visit the scene of the crime.

What was especially astonishing to me was how determined Gallegos was to keep working and not let her reporter’s death impact the newsroom. Gallegos also has children. I have a young son, and know how hard it is to be a journalist and a mom — I can only imagine what it must be like to be working in a war zone.

The death counts continue to rise at a sad and sickening pace in Juarez. I hope that the city finds peace someday and that Armando Rodriguez and his family find justice.