Mexican journalist seeks asylum in the U.S. following threats

On December 11, 2009, Ricardo Chávez Aldana, a radio host for the Ciudad Juárez-based Radio Cañón, fled to the United States with his wife and children, his sister, her husband, and their two children, his supervisor at Radio Cañón, José Antonio Tirado, told CPJ. The reporter and his family left their home after the killing of two family members, and following death threats, according to CPJ interviews and reports in the local press.

On December 5, two of Chávez’s teenage nephews were shot to death in Ciudad Juárez, in what local press accounts described as a wanton attack by criminals on people watching a soccer game. Chávez denounced their murder on the air, and said their killers were walking the streets with protection from the local authorities, Tirado told CPJ. Following the comment, Chávez and his family received several anonymous death threats, according to Tirado. On December 11, Chávez and his extended family fled to El Paso, Texas, fearing for their lives.

Tirado said Chávez called him from El Paso on December 12 to say the entire group was given permission to stay in the United States for at least six months. CPJ was unable to reach Chávez to verify this account, and U.S. immigration authorities do not comment on specific cases.