Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Event: Panel discussion and benefit for persecuted Mexican journalists

Please join us in supporting Juarez journalists who were forced to flee persecution in Juarez.

Panel Discussion & Benefit for Persecuted Journalists

11 am, Saturday, December 11th, 2010
...El Paso Times Community Room
300 N. Campbell
(Visitors’ parking at Mills and Campbell)

Suggested minimum donation: $10

EL PASO, TX – In June 2008, Emilio Gutierrez Soto fled from his hometown of Ascensión, Chihuahua, after receiving death threats from Mexican Army personnel. As a conscientious journalist, he had written stories critical of soldiers’ behavior. Ricardo Chavez Aldana, a radio reporter from Juárez, criticized the Mexican government’s inability to stop the violence after the killing of his two teenage nephews. He soon received threats and, a year ago, left Juárez for El Paso. Finally, journalist Alejandro Hernandez Pacheco fled Mexico in August 2010 after he was kidnapped and tortured for 5 days by a criminal organization seeking to influence the media in Juárez.

These brave journalists are seeking asylum in the United States. And while they may be temporarily safe in the United States, their cases are only slowly making their way through the U.S. court system and everyday life has become a struggle. The three men, all married with children, have no income. They must rely on help from El Paso friends and community supporters for their basic needs.

The El Paso Press Club, El Paso elected officials and El Paso community leaders have decided to step in and help with a benefit event December 11. On that date, the Mexican journalists will be part of a panel discussion and speak about their respective cases and their views of the turmoil taking place in Mexico. Members of the public are invited to attend the discussion and donate cash that will go directly to the three asylum seekers. Please join us and make the holiday season a little happier for Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Chavez and Mr. Hernandez.

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