Monday, January 7, 2013

Sobredosis de TV: Another Eye on Juarez

Last November we looked at “Witness: Juarez”, a documentary following the experiences of photojournalist Eros Hoagland in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.  While Hoagland provided his perspective on violence in one of the Americas’ most dangerous cities, another film set to air tonight will provide another viewpoint of the conflict in northern Mexico.

“Reportero” highlights the work done by journalists working at Zeta, a Tijuana-based independent newsweekly. Much like Hoagland the staff at Zeta risk their lives in order to report on the rampant crime, corruption and difficulties faced on a daily basis in Juarez and Tijuana, respectively.  Unlike Hoagland who has traveled to conflict areas around the world, however, the subjects of “Reportero” are residents of Baja California who cannot as easily escape the dangers they encounter.

As Zeta co-director Adela Navarro and reporter Sergio Haro told PBS, the work by them and their colleagues continues though the odds are seemingly stacked against them:

In 2012, Zeta marked its 32nd year of publishing truth to very deadly power. "Only the gunmen who killed (Zeta co-founder) Héctor Félix were arrested," says Navarro. "The mastermind is still on the loose. The case of Blancornelas' attack remains unsolved. The crime against Francisco Ortiz in 2004 also remains unsolved. . . . The criminals have impunity. Impunity to kill whomever they want." But Zeta continues.

And after 25 years of reporting, the deaths of three of his colleagues and threats against his own life, Haro knows he has every reason to walk away. "It's easier to look the other way and not cover this issue," he says in Reportero. "But in the end you would become another accomplice. For the rest of my life, I only want to be a reporter." He writes every week, telling the stories of the residents of northern Mexico during this wave of unprecedented violence.
Below is the trailer for “Reportero” that is scheduled to premier tonight on PBS (check local listings for times in you area):

Video Source – YouTube via user povborders

Online Sources – PBS, The Latin Americanist

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