While working during this spring’s IWMF Adelante fellowship, I had the opportunity to meet journalist Inés García Ramos.
For the last seven years, Garcia Ramos has covered crime, immigration, human rights and government for the publication ZETA. She works in both Tijuana and San Diego, and gets a thrill uncovering information that no one else has reported on in the region.
“As a journalist you have a unique experience to actually witness certain events that most don’t have the chance to see by themselves—that sometimes they don’t even know that it is happening,” she says. “I really like the opportunity to get to know a situation, a topic or a problem or event that is going on and to be able to explain it to people.”
This week, she published a story on the increase of municipal police attacks in Tijuana. Last year, she wrote about how dozens of children and teenagers were being hurt and killed by gun violence. Garcia Ramos wanted not only to report on the individual cases, but to foster a bigger public discussion.
“It really made me feel so bad to know about all these kids whose lives were taken away in the middle of all this violence,” she says. “it’s a kind of reporting, that I think, gets lost when you’re covering crime in a city that gets more attention for drug or gun trafficking, so I think this is why this story means so much to me.”
Garcia Ramos says part of her job is to “find facts that are real” and uncover how information can be misused when it comes from positions of power.
“In a country like Mexico where probably you are never going to see a corrupt official or politician sentenced or prosecuted, there’s a way to try to do justice through journalism,” she says.
Garcia Ramos believes some of the biggest challenges journalists face in Mexico is security along with low wages.
“When you put all of these things together—like very hard work for very little money and with a big risk…you have to have certain passion for it,” she says. ”We are hungry for social justice.”
Erika Schultz, 2019 U.S.-Mexico Border Fellow