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He was In , after daring to first publish the photograph of drug lord Ramon Arellano Felix, Blancornelas escaped an assassination attempt by cartel gunmen that left four bullets in his body. His bodyguard was killed. Blancornelas wrote about the drug cartels for decades, even as the mafias intensified their war on muckraking journalists who dared to report on their activities. We should show our solidarity with them.

They are going through hard times. Born in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, Blancornelas began his career as a sportswriter in the mids. He moved to Tijuana in His stories on the corruption of border officials forced him out of three newspapers before he co-founded the weekly ABC in Blancornelas fled to San Diego and unsuccessfully applied for political asylum in the United States.

They distributed the magazine across the border and eventually returned to Tijuana. In , a Zeta cover story on a warehouse filled with marijuana and guarded by local police broke the story of the arrival of the Arellano Felix brothers, who would become the leaders of the Tijuana drug cartel.

Blancornelas would say later he did not realize the significance of the story until plainclothes police officers bought all 20, copies of the magazine off the streets in a clumsy effort to stifle the news. Zeta exposed the collusion of local officials with the increasingly powerful cartel and showed how local police protected the drug mafias.

Zeta co-founder Miranda was murdered while on his way to work in The city would hold no official ceremony to mark his passing, he said. Undeterred by the killing of more journalists, Blancornelas and Zeta continued to publish stories, including one that detailed links between the Tijuana cartel and the Mexican Mafia, a California prison-based gang.

In November , Blancornelas himself became a victim, when gunmen opened fire on his car on a busy Tijuana street. His bodyguard Luis Valero was killed. Rather than allow the attack to silence him, Blancornelas began a history of the Tijuana cartel that ran in installments.

In the years that followed, Blancornelas traveled in Tijuana with a security detail worthy of a head of state.

Co-editor Francisco Ortiz Franco was killed in while driving in a car with his two young children. Hot Property. About Us. Brand Publishing. Times News Platforms. Times Store. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options. Hector Tobar. Hector Tobar worked at the Los Angeles Times for two decades: as a city reporter, national and foreign correspondent, columnist and, more recently, with the books and culture department.

He left in September


Jesús Blancornelas

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Jesus Blancornelas, 70; writer exposed actions of drug cartels

He was News reports in Mexico announced his death, but the cause has not been confirmed. He and his companions at Zeta also won praise for their investigation of the assassination of Luis Donaldo Colosio in , concluding that a lone gunman had been responsible. The author of six books, Mr. In recent years, he was recognized by the United Nations, Reporters Without Borders, the Inter-American Press Society and other groups for his contributions to freedom of expression in a country where reporters are regularly killed for crossing politicians and mobsters. He paid a high price for his integrity.


El Cartel : Los Arellano Felix: La Mafia Mas Poderosa en la Historia de America Latina

His work encompassed an extensive research on how the drug industry influences local leaders and the police in the Mexican state of Baja California — topics frequently avoided by the rest of the Mexican media. As an author of six books, Blancornelas was regarded by the press as a leading expert on organized crime and drug trafficking during his time. In response to the photo publication, the cartel attempted to kill Blancornelas in , but he managed to survive the attack and continued to report on the workings of Mexico's criminal underworld. For more than two decades, Blancornelas received several international press awards for his defiance of Mexico's old regime status quo, where bribe-taking and censorship by the government were commonplace in Mexico's media. In , he founded a newspaper called ABC. After Blancornelas discovered that plainclothes police officers had bought all 20, copies of the issue, Zeta republished the issue under the headline "Censored!

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