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Latino Daily News

Thursday September 23, 2010

A First: Mexican Journalist Granted Political Asylum in U.S.

Jorge Luis Aguirre, director of the news website “La Polaka,” fled Mexico in 2008 with his family to the United States after receiving death threats in his home city of Ciudad Juárez, in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. He immediately applied for asylum in the United States and now he has granted asylum to escape the cartels’ increasingly violent campaign to silence the media.

Aguirre fled across the border to El Paso after receiving telephone threats minutes after the murder of a fellow journalist by hitmen in November 2008.  “I can breathe again ... this asylum opens the door to journalists caught in the middle in Mexico, where there is no justice and where the (local) governments are part of drug trafficking,” Aguirre told Reuters.

Aguirre is one of the first Mexican reporters to be granted political asylum in the United States.  Mexico has been deemed the most dangerous country for journalists with 10 killed since the beginning of the year and 10 killed throughout Central and South America.  U.S. officials were not immediately available for comment.