Anabel Hernandez – Can freedom of speech save a country?

Hernandez began her journalism career working for the Reforma newspaper where her first front page story was about election fraud in Mexico City. She later wrote articles for the Milenio. In December of 2000, Hernandez’ father was murdered, but the police would not investigate without being paid extra money by the family. Not confident they would get an honest investigation, the family declined to pay the government officials. Gathering her resolve, Hernandez became more determined than ever to dig through the rubble of her country’s political malfeasance and rescue the victims of its corruption.

Hernandez continued to work as a freelance journalist and in 2003 was named a laureate by UNICEF for uncovering the networks of slave labor and the sex trafficking of Mexican girls in the farming communities around San Diego, CA. The girls were as young as 8 and 9 years old. This was Hernandez’ first experience reporting on organized crime. During a 2013 interview she said, “It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life… I went to that field… It was horrible… Now I know that the drug cartels control that business.”


In July of 2023, The Traitor, by Anabel Hernandez will be published in English by Vintage Books. It is the third of the courageous journalist’s books to be translated from Spanish. The first two were Narcoland and A Massacre in Mexico. 

Other Books by Anabel Hernnadez:

Fin de fiesta en Los Pinos, 2006
Los complices del presidente, 2008
Los Senores del narco, 2010
Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and Their Godfathers,       2010
Mexico en llams, el legado de calderon, 2012
La verdadera noche de Iguala: La historia que el gobierno trato de ocultar, 2016
A Massacre in Mexico: The True Story Behind the Missing                       43 Students, 2016
El traidor: El diario secreto del hijo del mayo, 2019
Emma y las otras senores del narco, 2022

For more than 20 years Hernandez has risked her life to report on the drug cartels of Mexico and the governments they control.


Freedom of Speech Award, from Deutsche Welle (Germany), 2019
International Journalism Award, from El Mundo (Spain), 2018
Named a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, 2017
Twice named a fellow, Investigative Reporting Program University CA, Berkeley, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016
Voice of the Voiceless Award, Annunciation House, El Paso TX, 2014
Hans Verploeg Award, Free Press Award, The Netherlands, 2014
Named one of RSF’s 100 information heroes, 2014
UNICEF laureate, 2003

Freedom of speech has become a cultural buzzword. This documentary released in May of 2022 featuring Anabel Hernandez portrays what it can look like to desire/be prevented from exercising freedom of speech.

Anabel Hernandez DW

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: