Journalist’s Case Shines Light on Impunity, Institutional Corruption in Mexico

Journalist’s Case Shines Light on Impunity, Institutional Corruption in Mexico

MEXICO CITY -- Muckraking journalist Lydia Cacho initially thought hit men working for narcotics trafficking gangs were going to kill her when she was apprehended outside of her Cancún office in December 2005. But the unidentified gunmen were actually police officers, who immediately transported her more than 900 miles to a prison cell in Puebla city, where she was jailed on defamation charges.

The cops allegedly taunted and assaulted her during the overnight trip, threatening her life and sticking a gun in her mouth. Their two-car convoy stopped while passing the Campeche Sound, Cacho says, and one of the gunmen asked: "Can you swim?"

Cacho would spend half a day in jail, during which time she was subjected to more mistreatment and learned of plans to have her raped from a sympathetic prison employee, who had the journalist moved to the infirmary.

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