Mexico consistently ranks as one of the most difficult places in the world to report from, with journalists frequently attacked, imprisoned and, as in the case of Sergio Aguayo, sued for exercising the right to free speech.
It all started in 2016, when Sergio, a renowned academic and journalist, wrote an opinion piece accusing former Coahuila state governor Humberto Moreira of corruption and links to organised crime groups. In a case that rumbled on for more than six years, Sergio was ordered to pay 10 million pesos – that’s more than half a million dollars – to Moreira, who said the piece had damaged his honour. During that time, Sergio experienced multiple threats and intimidation and has had to live under full police protection since.
In episode 6 of ‘Silenced’, he describes the impact of the lawsuits on his personal and professional life, the outcome of the Moreira case, and the judicial harassment he continues to face.
Listen to previous episodes of ‘Silenced’
For the launch of ‘Silenced’, Nicola Kelly spoke to Richard Ratcliffe, campaigner and husband of British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, in one of the last interviews before his wife’s release.
Episode 2: Ukrainian journalist Olga Tokariuk describes the threats facing journalists covering the invasion; efforts to ensure a free media space and get impartial information out to the world./
Episode 3: Nicola Kelly interviews Maria Baronova, until recently Editor of ‘RT’ (formerly ‘Russia Today’) about her years as a well-known opposition activist and the threats, intimidation and attacks she faced.
Episode 4: Nicola Kelly speaks to journalist Matthew Caruana Galizia about the day his mother Daphne was murdered, his fight for justice, and his determination to continue her work exposing corruption among some of Malta’s most powerful individuals.
Episode 5: Six months after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Iyad el-Baghdadi, a prominent writer and a friend of Khashoggi, was informed by the Norwegian Security services that there was a credible threat to his life. He describes what happened and how his life has changed since then.
‘Silenced’ is hosted by human rights journalist Nicola Kelly and produced by Christopher Hooton at Ziggurat Studio. Music is by Julian Wharton and sound design by Rick Morris.