Mexican journalist discusses coverage of Zapatista movement and censorship

Adolfo Flores

After publishing her new book, ‘Mexico Armado’ at the beginning of last year, Mexican journalist Laura Castellanos visited CSUN on Thursday, Oct. 2. She not only discussed her book, experiences covering the Zapatistas, an indigenous autonomous group, and the student protests of the 60s, but her experiences as a journalist in Mexico.

‘At this moment I think that in terms of accessibility and censorship it’s a contrasting situation because we don’t have the censorship of the 70s,’ said Castellanos, who has been covering indigenous groups in Mexico for years. ‘But if the government doesn’t like what a medium writes, the government can cut their funding and a medium can’t last for long.’

She noted that being a journalist is dangerous in Mexico, in fact after she covered sub commander Marcos of the Zapatista movement, Castellanos noted that her phones were tapped and that she was being watched and followed.

‘Compared with Iraq more journalists have died in Mexico,’ Castellanos said.

Why does she still do it?

‘What’s kept me going is that I believe that newspapers should be a tool for communication and in my case giving a voice to the most vulnerable groups.’