Thursday, January 27

Lydia Cacho vindicates investigative journalism in Mexico and criticizes Obrador: “Nothing has changed”

The Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho (Mexico City, 1963) is, since last November, also spanish. The Council of Ministers granted him nationality by naturalization due to “the obvious risk to his life.” “Her personal situation is vulnerable, since she has been a victim of torture, has suffered more than six attacks and is threatened with death.” Specialized in coverage in dangerous situations, sexist violence, childhood and organized crime, Cacho published in 2003 The demons of Eden in which he revealed a network of child trafficking and exploitation in the State of Quintana Roo and that directly splashed on Mexican politicians and businessmen. One of them was José Kamel Nacif. The author was arrested without a warrant, transferred in a car owned by this businessman and tortured. The UN has recognized the violation of their rights and has asked Mexico to repair the damage caused. The director of, Ignacio Escolar, the interview at the III Ibero-American Journalism meeting.

“Some hitmen entered my house, they killed my dogs, they went after me and I had to leave with what I was wearing. And here I am.” Lydia Cacho has been in Spain for two years and, from here, continues to vindicate journalism “especially investigative journalism”, which takes place in Mexico, the country in the world where more journalists die. “The good journalism we do does not have to do with the bravery of the professionals, but with the need to explain a very complex country given over to white-collar organized crime.”

Three thousand pesos. It’s the price they put on her life the first time they tried to kill her. “They asked a prisoner and the director of the prison called me to meet me.” Almost 40% of the attacks that Mexican journalists receive, Cacho emphasizes, come from the army and the police: from the State. “” Mayors and governors believe they are kings of their preserves of power. Our judicial system does not work. ”

Precisely the journalist uses Mexican justice to explain what a journalist’s work is like: “Explaining our work to journalists from democratic countries is complex. We not only do journalistic and investigative work, but we have to become a kind of Ministry Public, in someone who helps justice to make it work. And it is not because we want to, but rather that many of us reached that point because of the need to defend ourselves. ”

“Nothing has changed”. The writer asked about the difference between the previous governments and the new term of López Obrador has been so blunt: “The press continues under the same pressure. Obrador has done the same as Trump: invite the public lynching of journalists.”

Lydia Cacho defines herself as “an informed pessimist, and therefore an optimist.” Despite the situation of the profession and the “precariousness” of professionals, it has been convinced that “in the long term things are going to change, that is why investigative journalism is more important than ever”. “Journalism is not just a profession, it is a mission. A social service that, of course, must be paid. It is a poorly paid job, like many others, but you have to strike a balance.” The journalist has set a horizon of 20 years: “We will have results.”

Feminism, a fundamental pillar of Cacho’s work, has been an important part of his interview at the Casa de América in Madrid. From the stage, the writer has wanted to vindicate the work of a movement that has achieved “great achievements” throughout the world and that, despite this, continues to criticize itself, also in part, because of machismo. Regarding the response of society to the advancement of women’s rights, Cacho has criticized the extreme right, but also the left: “It is also impregnated with machismo, no one is saved. All of us are touched by machismo, whoever says they don’t lie “. “Of course, it was obvious that this macho culture was going to respond in the way it is responding,” she has commented on the continuous attack that feminist women receive.

“What would you say to a journalist who is just starting out?” Ignacio Escolar asked her. “Learn judo fast,” he joked. “I would tell you to trust your intuition. When I started 30 years ago my editors told me that I had to find ‘the truth’, almost force that truth, which they believed. They already had the conclusion. From early on I began to listen, to study , to draw my own conclusions “.