Juarez reporter describes dangerous conditions for journalists

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A reporter who has worked in Juarez for more than a dozen years says journalists are in the line of fire in the community. (KABC)

A reporter who has worked in Juarez for more than a dozen years says journalists are in the line of fire and in serious danger in the city.

Juarez ranked as the murder capital of the world in 2010. With a population of 1.5 million, the city saw 30,000 murders in 2010. In comparison, Los Angeles has a population three times the size and saw only 250 murder that same year.

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Blanca Carmona has worked for a local Juarez newspaper for 14 years. She said one of her co-workers was gunned down as he took his two daughters to school one morning.

Carmona said her co-worker had just gotten in his car with his two girls when a gunman jumped out of nowhere and began firing. She said he threw his body over his daughters. Both girls survived but their father did not.

Carmona said she has received threats as well, but she said her job as a reporter takes priority. She said she wants to make sure that people know the truth behind what is going on in Juarez.

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She said she has witnessed the crime rate decrease. However, there is still a huge number of unsolved homicides and many families do not know what happened to their loved ones.

Pope Francis will be in Juarez on Wednesday before he heads back to Rome. Carmona said the pontiff's visit to Juarez will not change the city for the better. She says the city needs a lot of work, including a major restructuring of the corrupt government - something that a seven-hour visit from Pope Francis will not fix.

In Juarez, the pope will visit a prison just days after a riot in another lockup in the area killed 49 inmates. He will also a stop at the Texas border, where immigration is a hot issue for the U.S. presidential campaign.

He also scheduled a meeting with Mexican workers, grassroots groups and employers in an encounter at which he was likely to repeat his mantra on the need for dignified work for all and "land, labor and lodging."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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newsu.s. & worldcrimemurderreligionpope francisMexico
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