Judith Torrea Wins Reporters Without Borders BOB Award

by Sampsonia Way    /  April 13, 2011  / No comments

Judith Torrea

Juárez, Under the Shadow of Drug Trafficking,” a blog about drug cartel activities, government repression and police corruption in northern Mexico, is the jury choice in the “Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom” category of this year’s BOBs (Best of Blogs Award), organized by the German radio station Deutsche Welle.

The blog’s author is Judith Torrea, a Spanish journalist living in Ciudad Juárez, a city devastated by battles between drug cartels and the “war” that President Felipe Calderon declared against them in 2008. Ciudad Juárez has been called one of the most violent places in the world: between 6 and 27 people are killed there each day. “The danger there is to be alive,” Torrea told Sampsonia Way via e-mail.

Every time Torrea opens her mouth or writes a story, you wonder which one of her many targets would like to silence her. “The Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, and the army are not fighting a war against drug trafficking. They are supporting the Sinaloa Cartel and its head, ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, to defeat the Juárez Cartel,” she says while looking directly into the cameras of a Spanish TV program.

Torrea, 37, has also received the Ortega y Gasset’s digital journalist award from the Spanish newspaper El País, the highest recognition for Spanish-language journalists.

This reporter, standing 6 feet, 2 inches tall, is from Pamplona, a city in the north of Spain where a single murder is front-page news for a whole month. Now, living in Juárez, she covers at least 6 murders a day. Why did Torrea end up in Ciudad Juárez? Why did she leave New York City to report from a place where more than 30 journalists have been killed or have disappeared over the past three years?

Read the answers in Sampsonia Way’s exclusive Judith Torrea: Under The Shadow Of Drug Trafficking

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

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