Meet the Fellow: Nidia Bautista

Nidia arrived to journalism not by personal career ambition, but through the issues that she cares so much about. When she describes her work reporting on gender violence in Mexico or migration at the border, the passion in her voice makes it clear that she’s driven by more than a byline. “When I was studying social movements in Mexico as an undergraduate student, I realized my writing could have greater impact outside of academia. I wanted to reach people and really do something.” 

Nidia moved to Mexico City after graduating college in 2012 and began covering a mass protest movement called 132 that resisted state violence during Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency. She found herself in the middle of a historic and explosive moment in Mexican politics. Two years later, the historic disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa solidified her place as a print journalist reporting huge international stories.

What makes Nidia’s work so powerful, however, isn’t just the quality of her writing or the scale of the topics she covers, but the way she relates to them. Growing up Chicana in LA, Nidia understood migration from the roots of her own family. State violence and corruption in Mexico were not intellectual ideas, but the forces that drove her parents to emigrate. She has travelled back and forth to Mexico since early childhood, but now when she goes, Nidia gets to draw from her identity as a Mexican-American to cover the area from a more intimate perspective. 

“Latina journalists from the U.S. are rare in Latin America. Most of the reporting in the region that goes out for an international audience is done by foreigners with no personal relationship to the place, and I think our voice is important.” Nidia has fearlessly entered some of the most violent regions of Mexico to cover femicide. Her passion to tell these stories infuses everything she does.