Segments in this Video

Journalism in Tijuana (05:10)


The “Zeta Weekly” newspaper is known for crime and drug trafficking reporting along the Mexican border. Citizens believe the once weekly journal can be overly dramatized or political, but it is honest reporting.

Zeta's History and Creation (02:25)

Independent journalists were repressed when Jesus Blancornelas started Zeta from exile in the United States. The newspaper exposed corruption within the Mexican political system.

Printing Zeta (05:14)

Adela Navarro states they print abroad to maintain freedom of speech; print managers do not understand the political risks. The Mexican government is the owner of PIPSA. Zeta effectively helped bring freedom of expression to Baja, California.

Working on Politics (06:21)

Desert Youth Shelter Director Monica Oropeza Rodriguez reveals drug traffickers illegally transport migrants for a fee; 7,000 youths have been repatriated in Baja, California.

El Gato's Murder (05:23)

Mocking politicians and the social elite in Mexico leads to Hector Felix Miranda's assassination. The future mayor and candidate for governor owns Agua Caliente Racetrack where the assassins work as corrupt security guards.

Reporting on Social Inequality (04:20)

Sergio Haro believes drug trafficking and violence are due to social inequality in Mexico; realistic reporting on social issues maintains the human connection. Rene Blanco states the readers of the journal want sensationalist stories of violence.

Blanco's Trafficking Investigation (05:29)

Tijuana is a hotbed for violence and drug trafficking. Blanco solved a case by pinpointing corrupt police and violent traffickers. Blanco was the victim of a failed, mob assassination attempt.

Arellano Family Crime (03:33)

The Attorney General identifies the assassin as a man working for the Arellano Felix Brothers. The brothers came to Tijuana to establish a cocaine conduit in the United States.

Assassination of Benjamin Flores (06:16)

Sergio left Zeta to start El Siete Dias Newspaper along with Flores; Flores was assassinated and none of the perpetrators were arrested. Sergio’s wife became increasingly paranoid as he received death threats; he was under protective custody of corrupt police.

Staying Safe in Tijuana (04:53)

With Tijuana’s spike in violence, Marco Santilleces’ car armoring service prospered. Zaida Haro states Sergio would never leave his profession in journalism, even if she asked him to.

Narcotic Tunnels (05:33)

Navarro states Baja, California became entrenched in drug trafficking; every government official and business is involved in building the tunnels. Francisco Ortiz discovered the Attorney General was assisting the cartel.

Zeta's Remaking (05:26)

After Blanco’s death, the Zeta team decided to rebrand the journal and publish sensitive material under the collective byline “Zeta Investigations.” Sergio reignites his connections with Zeta in light of breaking news about the cartel’s connections with the Attorney General’s office.

Baja's Hopeful Future (08:54)

Zeta journalists know they are in a risky profession; only the assassins of Hector Felix were punished for their crimes. Sergio says if he ignores the issues in Tijuana and Baja, he would become an accomplice to the crimes.

Credits: Reportero (01:47)

Credits: Reportero

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Reportero follows a veteran reporter and his colleagues at Zeta, a Tijuana-based independent newsweekly, as they stubbornly ply their trade in one of the deadliest places in the world for members of the media. As the drug war intensifies and the risks to journalists become greater, will the free press be silenced?

Length: 72 minutes

Item#: BVL131258

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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