Fleeing Violence against Journalists, Veracruz Photographer Seeks Asylum in US

Posted by on Friday June 1, 2012 | Photojournalism

A photojournalist from Veracruz, Mexico, is seeking political asylum in the US following a wave of killings of journalists who have covered drug trafficking in the violence-ridden Mexican state. The El Paso Times reports that Miguel Angel Lopez Solana, a photographer for La Jornada, a daily newspaper in Mexico, has decided to seek political asylum for himself and his wife almost a year after members of his family –who were also fellow journalists–were murdered.

The photographer’s father, Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco, a columnist at the Veracruz paper Notiver, his brother, Misael Lopez Solana, a photographer with Notiver, and his mother were shot and killed in their home on June 20, 2011.

Last month, three news photographers who covered organized crime in Veracruz were found murdered; their dismembered bodies showed signs of torture, according to the Veracruz police.

Miguel Lopez Solana himself was kidnapped and threatened at gunpoint in 2009 over his coverage of the police beat.

Fearing for his life, he recently contacted Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters without Borders, and received a visa to travel to the US. He will file a request for political asylum later this month in Houston, according to his lawyer, Carlos Spector, who has represented other Mexican journalists fleeing anti-press violence in Mexico.

At a forum on press safety held May 23 in Austin, Texas, Lopez Solana told the audience, “They aren’t just killing us journalists, they are drawing and quartering us…We are living in terror.” The Texas Observer reports that Lopez Solana said his colleagues back in Veracruz feel isolated and afraid. “They are traumatized and living in fear. It’s way beyond any fiction you could ever imagine.”

Committee to Protect Journalists reports that since 2006, 45 journalists have been killed or disappeared in Mexico.

(Thanks to Emphas.is for alerting us to Lopez Solana’s story.)

Related story
Three News Photographers Found Murdered in Veracruz, Mexico


COMMENTS

MORE POSTS

Nature Conservancy’s Melissa Ryan on Making Impact with Conservation Photos

Posted by on Friday April 28, 2017 | Photojournalism

Melissa Ryan, director of photography at Nature Conservancy magazine, says that in order to create more powerful messages for conservation, photographers have to engage and collaborate more with the communities affected. That will be the subject of her talk at Collaborations for Cause 2017 in Seattle, where she will be one of several featured speakers.... More

Outside Mag Puts Photojournalist Erin Trieb on Women’s Issue Cover

Posted by on Thursday April 20, 2017 | Photojournalism

Outside magazine is celebrating its 40th anniversary in May with an issue devoted to “The New Icons” of adventure, a group of ten women that includes American photojournalist Erin Grace Trieb. Among the women featured alongside Trieb on the cover of Outside’s May issue are retired U.S. soccer player Abby Wambach, champion skier Lindsey Vonn, endurance... More

Sarah Blesener Wins the $20K Alexia Foundation Professional Grant

Posted by on Wednesday April 12, 2017 | Awards/Contests/Grants, Photojournalism

New York-based photographer Sarah Blesener has won the $20,000 Professional Grant from the Alexia Foundation for her series “Toy Soldiers,“ which documents youth patriotic clubs, education and summer camps in Russia. Blesener, a recent graduate of the International Center of Photography and recipient of the Alexia Student Award in 2016, will use the funds to photograph rising... More