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United States grants second Mexican journalist political asylum

Alejandro Hernández Pacheco, cameraman for Televisa, is the second Mexican reporter to receive asylum in the United States because of drug violence in Mexico, reported EFE and Reuters on Monday, Aug. 29.

Neither the journalist nor his lawyer, Carlos Spector, confirmed the news, but a news conference is expected in coming days, EFE reported.

Hernández was one of four journalists kidnapped by the Los Zetas drug cartel in July, 2010. In September of the same year, Hernández moved to the border city of El Paso, Texas.

Two months ago, the journalist received permission to work in the United States and took a job working for the Hispanic television network Telemundo in El Paso, according to an article from the El Paso Times.

Three Mexican journalists to date have chosen exile in the United States. Ricardo Chávez, ex-announcer for Radio Cañon in Cuidad Juárez, has a pending petition for political asylum.

Several international organizations have named Mexico as the most dangerous country in Latin America for journalists. During 2011 alone, seven journalists were killed in Mexico of the 20 total registered killings in the region, according to data from the Inter-American Press Association.

For more information, see this Knight Center map of attacks on journalists in Mexico.

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