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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Murdered Mexican journalist Miroslava Breach recognized with Don Bolles Medal from U.S. investigative reporters



U.S. journalism organization Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) recognized slain Mexican journalist Miroslava Breach Velducea with its first Don Bolles Medal, named for a U.S. reporter killed in 1976.

Breach, a correspondent for newspaper La Jornada, was shot in the head four times upon leaving her house in Chihuahua on March 23, 2017. She was one of three journalists to be killed in Mexico that month and is one of the seven reporters murdered in the country this year.

IRE, which presented the award at its annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona on June 24, chose Breach as the first recipient of the award “as a symbol of the continuing threats being faced by investigative journalists across Mexico,” according to an IRE press release. The reporter had received numerous threats and was covering organized crime and corruption at the time of her murder.

The Don Bolles Mdeal “recognizes investigative journalists who have exhibited extraordinary courage in standing up against intimidation or efforts to suppress the truth about matters of public importance.”

Bolles died after a bomb planted in his car exploded on June 2, 1976. A reporter for the Arizona Republic, he was investigating potential links between politicians and organized crime at the time of his murder.

In response to his death, IRE created The Arizona Project, which was based in Phoenix and continued Bolles’ investigation.

“Their message: Even if you kill a reporter, you can’t kill the story,” IRE explained, adding that the findings were published in newspapers around the U.S.

The organization created the Don Bolles Medal to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Arizona Project.

“Violence against journalists needs to stop. The legacies of Miroslava Breach and Don Bolles must stand for the simple fact that murder will never silence a story,” said Matt Goldberg, president of the IRE Board of Directors, in an organization press release.



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