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Emilio's Courage

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For most of a decade, Emilio and his son have been working their way through the lengthy, arduous and expensive process of  asking for political asylum.  Emilio's work as a journalist in Mexico placed both he and his son in mortal danger.  His writing of the truth did not please those who had the power to end he and his son's lives.

"I slept during the day so I could protect my son during the night."

Words DO have power.  In Veracruz alone, six journalists have been murdered in relation to their work since outgoing governor Javier Duarte began his term in 2010, according to The Committee to Protect Journalists.  That organization listed "37 Journalists Killed Since 1992 in Mexico - Motive Confirmed", which means we are reasonably certain that a journalist was murdered in direct reprisal for his or her work; was killed in crossfire during combat situations; or was killed while carrying out a dangerous assignment.

From The Guardian February 2015:  "Press freedom in Mexico faces severe obstacles. More murders must be prevented.  International attention is essential."

Emilio, in his work as a journalist in Mexico, reported on activities of some powerful persons.  Journalists, not only in Mexico but in dozens of other countries across the world have had to leave their countries to save their lives and the lives of family members. 

 Asking for politic asylum is no easy process and it is not cheap.  While accumulating evidence, meeting with lawyers, seeing that his son's education is not interrupted, Emilio found work wherever he could; gardening (which he loves), cooking (which he also loves) and any kind of chore asked of him.  He launched his food truck - "Emilio's Fresh Snacks" - which had a very favorable review in a local publication.  A major need is for a new generator for his business.

The generator he now uses for his business is an old, noisy, smelly generator that property owners and customers have complained about.  He has tried to find a semi-permanent location with electricity so that he could build up a customer base.  Rent is high for spots with electricity.

With the help of generous donors, a new, efficient generator will give Emilio a wider choice of locations for his business, a business that he enjoys and with which he plans to support himself and his son for years to come.  He needs a generator that will last and those are expensive. 

We ask any prospective donor to read some of the stories listed below concerning Emilio's story.  His story is one of protecting his son, of his years of struggle to gain political asylum , and how strongly he wishes to establish himself and his son in the United States of America.  Open your hearts.

Signed, La Alianza & friends of Emilio - Jane Asche,  Peter Ossorio, Cliff Pelton, Elisa Sanchez, Ginny Herrick, Lucia Carmona, Ron & Vi Cauthon, Gillian Leng, Jackie Wyer, Janet Martinique, Joy Goldbaum 

More about Emilio:
He has received numerous awards: 

Lannan Cultural Freedom Award 2009; International Press Freedom Award (Canada 2010); Annunciation House Witness on the Border Award 2011; Nominated for the Ruben Salazar Media of the Year Award 2012.
New York Times - Death Threats, Then Red Tape

Mother Jones - Checking in on Emilio Gutiérrez Soto
We Bring Fear

Mother Jones - Columbia Journalism Review - “Yo Soy un Ejemplo Vivo”

News Taco - Mexican Journalist Asylum Request Postponed

Maynard Institute - Journalists Seeking Asylum Often Left in Limbo  scroll far down the page for the story.

Journalism in the Americas - Mexican journalist must wait until 2012 to have asylum case heard in U.S.

Committee to Protect Journalists - Journalist flees Ciudad Juárez following death threats

NEED TO KNOW | Seeking asylum from Mexico's drug wars | PBS

Organizer and beneficiary

Elisa Sanchez
Las Cruces, NM
Emilio Gutierrez Soto

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