Monday, October 31, 2011

Courage to print the news nets international award

Tijuana – As news editor Hector “El Gato” Felix Miranda put his kids in the car, bullets cut him down, bullets fired by the Mayor's bodyguards.

That was way back in 1988. No one has bothered to investigate during the intervening years.

Recently, when “Zeta” News magazine's executive director called for reopening the case, as well as one in which Mayor Hank Rhon was charged with possession of 88 prohibited firearms, no one bothered to do much about that, either. There was a lack of evidence, even though Adela Navarro Bello published a complete inventory of the weapons and an additional 18 pages of evidence of crimes committed under the color of official authority by the Mayor of Tijuana.

Her courage netted her the 2011 Courage in Journalism Award, bestowed by the International Women's Media Foundation in Washington, D.C.

"We kept wondering, ‘How many lives must be lost?' Francisco was putting his two children in the backseat of the car before he was gunned down. The kids got out of the car and started crying and running. It was one of the saddest moments in the history of Zeta," said Ms. Navarro. "There was talk of closing the paper, but we wanted to do our work."

After learning that she received this year's Courage in Journalism Award, Navarro said she felt that "Zeta isn't alone. We have allies. This is an important message to the people of Mexico."

"I've been poisoned with the truth. I can't stop," Navarro Bello said. "We aren't afraid to write about the drug cartels and run the names of people who are hurting our society. We tell the police who they are. That's the kind of journalism we do. We go everywhere and cover everything. We won't remain silent."

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