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Journalist flees Ciudad Juarez for the U.S.

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Jorge Luis Aguirre, director of the news website La Polaka, has fled Mexico 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.

His departure follows the killing of crime reporter Armando Rodríguez, who was shot to death last Thursday when he was in his car.

Aguirre told the Center for Journalism and Public Ethics, or CEPET, a nonprofit based in Mexico City, that he was on the way to reporter Armando Rodríguez Carreón’s funeral last week when he received a call on his cellphone.

‘They told me, ‘You’re next,’ and because of the way things are, I decided to take my family and leave,’ Aguirre said.

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‘I left everything: my house, my office. I left my car in a public parking lot. I was very scared. I didn’t ask the authorities for help, I don’t trust them.’

La Polaka is an online political newspaper that frequently, according to CEPET, publishes critical reports. It covers information from the state capital of Chihuahua City, Ciudad Juárez and, on the U.S. side of the border, El Paso.

The persecution of journalists here in Mexico is common, especially those covering organized crime, as Ken Ellingwood reported this year. Just this weekend, two grenades were thrown at the offices of the Culiacán newspaper El Debate. The explosions shattered windows but caused no injuries. Click here for more.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City


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