UN press freedom prize goes to crusading Mexican journalist. This is especially relevant for two reasons: 1) they’re killing radio announcers this week, 2) Puebla is very similar to Oaxaca in having a corrupt PRI governor protected by Calderon, and for the same reason: needing PRI votes in congress. ND
First Posted 07:51:00 04/10/2008
PARIS – Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho Ribeiro will be given the UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize for her work exposing political corruption and organized crime, the UN cultural body said Wednesday.
“Through investigative journalism, she uncovered the involvement of businessmen, politicians and drug traffickers in prostitution and child pornography” in Mexico, said UNESCO in a statement announcing the award.
Her work continued “in the face of death threats, an attempt on her life and legal battles,” it added, noting that she had also been the victim of police harassment.
“A journalist who knows the antagonistic environment in which he or she operates and continues to do the right thing by keeping readers, listeners or viewers informed about their society deserves recognition for their contribution to freedom of expression around the world,” said Joe Thloloe, the president of the UNESCO jury of journalists and editors.
“Lydia Cacho is such a laureate,” he added in the statement.
Cacho, born in 1963, is a freelance reporter based in the Caribbean city of Cancun who contributes to the daily newspaper La Voz del Caribe.
UNESCO’s director-general will hand over the $25,000 (€16,000) prize to Cacho in a ceremony to be held on World Press Freedom Day on May 3 in the Mozambican capital Maputo.
The award’s official title is the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. It is named after a Colombian journalist murdered in 1986 after denouncing drug barons.
Last year it was awarded posthumously to Russian investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered in a contract-style killing in 2006.
The news came as media freedom campaigners Reporters without Borders (RSF) condemned the killings Monday of two young women working for a community radio station in the south of the country.
RSF expressed its shock at the fatal shootings Monday of Teresa Bautista Flores, 24, and Felicitas Martinez, 20, at Putla de Guerrero, in the southern state of Oaxaca.
Both women worked for La Voz que Rompe el Silencio (The Voice that Breaks the Silence) a community radio station serving the Trique indigenous community.
The two victims were returning from having covered a report when they were ambushed, threatened with abduction before being shot dead, RSF reported. Three other people, a three-year-old boy and his parents were wounded.
RSF conceded in their statement that there was so far no evidence that they had been killed because of their work as journalists.
But the group added: “(T)heir murders will be traumatic for all of Latin America’s many community radio stations, which are too often ignored or despised by the rest of the media and by governments.”
“We are conscious of the risks run by the press in Oaxaca state, where the political climate continues to be tense, where two journalists were killed in 2006 at the height of a period of social unrest, and where other community media have been attacked,” the statement added.