After receiving political asylum in the U.S., Mexican photographer wants to return to reporting

By Alejandro Martínez

After finally receiving political asylum in the United States, Mexican photographer Miguel Ángel López Solana wants to continue reporting -- despite the toll the job has taken on his life.

“I still have the desire and impetus to continue exercising freedom of expression, journalism, photojournalism," he said. "It is difficult to say, 'I have lost my family due to journalism, I have lost my friends,' but at the same time leave it, it is like saying nothing came out of this great loss."

López Solana, who spoke last week with the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, obtained his asylum last month, two years after his family was assassinated in Veracruz.

López Solana fled the dangerous state of Veracruz after the assassination of his father, mother, and brother in June 2011. His father, Miguel Ángel López Velasco, was an assistant director and popular columnist for the daily Notiver, where López Solana and his brother also worked as photojournalists.

In a letter sent this month to media leaders in Veracruz, López Solana accused state authorities of holding up the criminal investigation into his family's killings.

“The Attorney General of Veracruz does not want to resolve my family's case. Why? I don't know," López Solana told the Knight Center. “I am not pleading for something out of the ordinary, I am only asking for justice."

Veracruz is considered one of the most dangerous places for journalism. Mexico, in general, is one of the top 10 countries with most reporters living in exile, according to a recent report by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.