María Elizabeth Macías Castro

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Blog   |   Brazil, CPJ, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia

Speak Justice campaign fights impunity in press murders

The tortured and decapitated body of 39-year-old María Elizabeth Macías Castro was found on a Saturday evening in September 2011. It had been dumped by the side of a road in Nuevo Laredo, a Mexican border town ravaged by the war on drugs. Macías, a freelance journalist, wrote about organized crime on social media under the pseudonym "The Girl from Laredo." Her murder, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, was the first in which a journalist was killed in direct relation for reporting published on social media. It remains unsolved.

Attacks on the Press

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Preface

From a crane high above a protest, journalists film crowds in the Yemeni city of Taiz. (Reuters/Khaled Abdullah)

Technology has democratized news publishing, rattling regimes that see their survival dependent on control of information. Video footage of repression from Burma to Syria to Egypt dramatically illustrates the benefits of Internet platforms and social media. Yet the Arab uprisings of 2011 also demonstrate the urgent need for providers and users of digital tools to understand the dangers of deploying them in repressive nations. As threats to online journalists grow in scope and frequency, they also underscore CPJ's mandate to be a truly global organization. More journalists need CPJ's help than ever before. By Sandra Mims Rowe

Attacks on the Press   |   Chile, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Pakistan, Syria

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Abolishing Censorship

Police in Santiago seize a photographer during an anti-government demonstration. (Reuters/Carlos Vera)

Even as trade and new systems of communication turn us into global citizens, the information we need to ensure accountability often stops at national borders. New platforms like social media are valuable tools, but the battle against censorship is hardly over. By Joel Simon

Blog   |   Mexico

The press silenced, Nuevo Laredo tries to find voice

Javier Soto plays his accordion as he searches for tourists in a vacant downtown market in Nuevo Laredo on January 26, 2006. (AP/Gregory Bull)

You don't notice it at first. Not with the people seemingly moving as normal on the sidewalks and the happy recorded music blaring across the plaza in front of city hall to announce the annual cowboy parade. No, at first Nuevo Laredo looks like a regular border town, until the military armored car goes by a block away and rotates the heavy machine gun toward the plaza. Are the soldiers just curious? Or do they see something they want to shoot? Who will be hit if they do open fire? Then other images come into focus, like the blocks of closed shops, with for sale signs only on the most recently closed because the owners of the older, more dilapidated shops, have given up even that hope.

Blog   |   Mexico

Mexico murder may be social media watershed

María Elizabeth Macías Castro's killers left this note. (AFP)

María Elizabeth Macías Castro's killers made sure their actions were understood. In a macabre, carefully orchestrated mise-en-scene, they placed her body in front of a poster with the ominous note. Nearby they left a computer keyboard, with a pair of headphones on her decapitated head.

September 30, 2011 10:15 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Mexico

Journalist's decapitated body found in Mexico

New York, September 26, 2011--The decapitated body of Mexican journalist Maria Elizabeth Macías Castro was found on a road near the city of Nuevo Laredo on Saturday, news reports said.

September 26, 2011 3:36 PM ET

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