'I worry that the people that ordered the murder of Javier, could be also behind me because we were covering the same story.'
Tariq Ali talks to investigative journalist, Anabel Hernández, about Mexico’s struggle with drug trafficking and corruption, to which the US turns a blind eye whilst having a finger in the pie. They also talk about freedom of press and the hopes for the coming presidential election in Mexico.
Hernández speaks about the recent assassination of her famous colleague Javier Valdez and expresses her fear that she is also being targeted for exposing corrupted Mexican officials who are involved with the drug cartels. She also says that, despite the threat, she will continue to do her job, because the people must know in order to do the right things.
Both journalists were investigating a war within the Sinaloa cartel after its leader "El Chapo" Guzmán was extradited to the US.
As Hernández says characteristically: 'I worry that the people that ordered the murder of Javier, could be also behind me because we were covering the same story.'
As we read from Wikipedia, Hernández “has confronted head-on – at significant personal risk to her and her family – corruption and the narcotics trade in Mexico, including the alleged collusion between the drug barons and elements within the Mexican political and administrative system.”
Concerning the assassination of Javier Valdez she said that:
Now the government is trying to say that this was because someone tried to steal his car. Even in Culiacán that is a very dangerous place no one shoots anyone twelve times to steal a car. So, for me, it is very clear that to be able to kill a journalist as famous and important as Javier Valdez, someone of the government gave the permission to do it.
She also spoke about the assassinations of other journalists who were involved in exposing those behind the drug cartels:
These journalists have not just have been murdered by members of the cartels. In most of the cases members of the government involved directly. Municipal government, state government, or, the federal government. It's not a problem If you are talking in general aspects, but if journalists like Javier, or me, or others, start to put names, that is a point where things get really dangerous. I'm under threat since December of 2010, not because I published this book "Narcoland" related with "El Chapo" Guzmán. The problem is that in this book I put name by name the members of the last governments since the decade of the 70s until now, who are involved with the Sinaloa cartel. I put the name of presidents, I put the name of generals, I put the name of chiefs of the police, and because of that, these officials want to kill me.
Anabel's book Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords And Their Godfathers documented how, for decades, successive Mexican governments from the president down had been on the payroll of the Sinaloa cartel. These are the people she blames for the killing of more than 100 journalists in a decade.