Reporters on the Job
• Mexico's Thin Blue Line: While reporting today's story on Mexico's police corruption , staff writer Sara Miller Llana recalled one of the first stories on drug violence she worked on in 2006.
"I was in Acapulco, where the heads of victims had been placed on stakes at a major intersection, and I wanted to talk to the police about it. So I did what I normally do: I knocked on the police department door. The cops welcomed me in, and went through the year's crime spree in photos – not losing the opportunity to laugh at my facial expressions at some of the gruesome images. Then Felipe Calderón became president and sent in troops, in part because everyone suspected the police of being corrupt," says Sara.
"I have no idea if the cops I was dealing with that day were corrupt – but that is the point. In today's Mexican police force, you never really know who you're dealing with, and it's always better to be cautious."
For example, adds Sara, "I don't go knocking unannounced on the doors of Mexican municipal police stations anymore."
• Welcome at a Muslim School: To report today's story, correspondent David Montero returned to the scene of a controversy. The Cambodian Islamic Center, the country's largest Islamic school, was shut down in 2002, following allegations that it had harbored members of Jemaah Islamiyah, a South Asian terrorist group affiliated with Al Qaeda . The government took control of the school, and purged its foreign students and teachers.
It has since reopened. "I met the director, who was upset with the Western media for reporting that the school was a conduit for extremists. He insisted no proof had ever been found of wrongdoing. He refused to have his picture taken," says David.
While on the grounds, David adds, he met two young teachers who showed him around. "They had never met a Western journalist, and were happy to be able to give their views," he says.
– David Clark Scott