Though she needs no introduction, Lydia Cacho is a Mexican investigative journalist, author, documentary filmmaker and human rights activist who has kept people accountable and uncovered a wealth of information on violence against women and the global sex trade. She is currently in forced exile and has been more than a month now, for *checks notes* being the victim of an attack on her home.
In 2005, Cacho wrote a book called Demons of Eden in which she exposed several people in power – including Kamel Nacif and Jean Succar Kuri – who were involved in a pedophile ring in Cancún.
She has received several threats since then, including one in 2012 that claimed they’d “send her home in pieces.” Even then, she was hesitant to go to London and leave home, and only did so at the plea of security experts and lawyers. Though the committed reporter has had to flee home in the past, it was never her intention to leave the country entirely, and she likely never expected to do so against her will. “I like my country. [In Mexico,] really good journalists are so badly needed. It’s important. I want to be there to see the change,” she told The Guardian that year.
On July 21, 2019, someone invaded her home, killed her two dogs and stole reporting records by way of her recorder, laptop and other equipment. This is particularly disturbing and personal because she was known for using time with her dogs as a means of therapy. She was forced to leave the country shortly after that unfortunate incident, and as Kate del Castillo reminded followers this weekend, is still not allowed to return.
“It is unacceptable that in Mexico, the survivors of torture and grave violations of human rights cannot count on a minimum guarantee [of safety]. Meanwhile, the perpetrators and their accomplices are guaranteed to be able to continue their criminal actions,” human rights organization Article 19 said in a statement.
In a recent interview with Vogue Mexico and Latin America, Cacho spoke about everything from fashion to violence against women, and maintaining sane throughout persecution and penalization for doing her job – and doing it well.
“When people come to me and ask how to move forward and keep believing,” she said, “I ask them if they’re willing to think about future generations.”