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Surviving Mexico

Surviving Mexico
Resistance and Resilience among Journalists in the Twenty-first Century

A rigorously researched study shows how Mexican organized crime enjoys the protection of government officials, and some media companies, while individual journalists and their allies try to safeguard themselves and those willing to expose corruption and criminality.

July 2021
Not yet published

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This book will be available in July 2021.
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344 pages | 6 x 9 |

Since 2000, more than 150 journalists have been killed in Mexico. Today the country is one of the most dangerous in the world in which to be a reporter. In Surviving Mexico, Celeste González de Bustamante and Jeannine E. Relly examine the networks of political power, business interests, and organized crime that threaten and attack Mexican journalists, who forge ahead despite the risks.

Amid the crackdown on drug cartels, overall violence in Mexico has increased, and journalists covering the conflict have grown more vulnerable. But it is not just criminal groups that want reporters out of the way. Government forces also attack journalists in order to shield corrupt authorities and the very criminals they are supposed to be fighting. Meanwhile some news organizations, enriched by their ties to corrupt government officials and criminal groups, fail to support their employees. In some cases, journalists must wait for a “green light” to publish not from their editors but from organized crime groups. Despite seemingly insurmountable constraints, journalists have turned to one another and to their communities to resist pressures and create their own networks of resilience. Drawing on a decade of rigorous research in Mexico, González de Bustamante and Relly explain how journalists have become their own activists and how they hold those in power accountable.


Celeste González de Bustamante is an associate professor at the University of Arizona School of Journalism. She is the author of “Muy buenas noches”: Mexico, Television, and the Cold War and coeditor of Arizona Firestorm: Global Immigration Realities, National Media, and Provincial Politics. She directs the Center for Border and Global Journalism.

Jeannine E. Relly is a professor with the School of Journalism and School of Government & Public Policy (with courtesy) at the University of Arizona. She is affiliated with the Center for Latin American Studies. Before joining academia, she worked as a journalist for news outlets in the Caribbean, the Mexico-US borderlands, and several US states. She is the director of Global Initiatives at the UA School of Journalism.