Mexican journalist in Canada fears for life if deported after writing about government corruption

Mexican journalist in Canada is fighting deportation, arguing that returning to Mexico is a death sentence for her and her family, reported CBC News and the Canadian Press. Karla Berenice Garcia Ramirez, who wrote about government corruption, sought asylum in Canada in 2008, but her application was denied in 2010, and in November 2011 a deportation order was issued, the Vancouver Sun explained.

Ramirez, who began receiving death threats in 2003 because of her work, said the intimidation escalated after she published a book about government corruption, "The Talent of the Charlatans," in October 2010, according to the Globe and Mail.

The award-winning journalist, who uses the pen name Karla Lottini, said she is "offended" that the Canadian government is saying it is safe in Mexico, reported the Vancouver Observer.

"I am afraid for my life and my family’s life, including my two Canadian babies," Ramirez said in a statement to the media. "I am here to say that if something bad happens to me or my family it is because of I what I wrote and who I name in this book."

Mexico is the most dangerous country in the world to practice journalism. A PEN International delegation of writers gathered in Mexico City over the weekend to protest the violence against journalists and to show solidarity with their Mexican colleagues. More than 70 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000. See this Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas map for more information about violence against the Mexican press.

In August 2011, Alejandro Hernández Pacheco, cameraman for Televisa, became the second Mexican journalist to receive asylum in the United States because of drug violence in Mexico.