Exiled journalist sued once again for her investigations of corruption at Mexico’s oil company

Mexican journalist Ana Lilia Pérez was sued for moral damages by federal congressman Juan Bueno Torio, according to news agency CIMAC.

Pérez has investigated and published stories on irregularities in the administration of Mexico’s state oil company Pemex, where Bueno Torio served as director of refining between 2003 and 2006. Pérez is the author of the books El cartel negro (“The black cartel”) and Camisas azules, manos negras (“Blue shirts, black hands”) and was the winner of Germany’s Leipziger Medienpreis 2012 Award.

Bueno Torio filed the lawsuit against Pérez after Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies created in December 2010 a special multi-party commission to investigate Pérez’s accusations in her book Camisas azules, manos negras. Recently, Pérez was notified that the legal action against her will be carried out in Germany, where the journalist is living in exile since June 2012 after being the target of death threats, judicial harassment, phone taps and persecution due to her journalistic investigations, according to an open letter that Pérez wrote and was published in Revista Mexicana de Comunicación.

“Juan Bueno Torio’s lawsuit has the purpose of inhibiting my work as a journalist, and by doing so diminish the necessary intellectual independence to carry out the kind of critical journalism that Mexican society demands… (Bueno Torio) pretends to give his intimidations legal validity,” Pérez said in her letter.

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.