Jesus Blancornelas started his career working for El Sol de San Luis as a sportswriter in 1955. Five years later, he moved to Tijuana and began actively reporting on crime activity, such as corruption and drug trade. He worked for publications such as El Mexicano and La Voz de la Frontera as editor. He was let go from several newspapers due to his readiness to expose and write about crime and corruption. In 1977, he decided to establish his own newspaper called ABC. The nature of the content published caused government officials to seize the paper under the pretext of settling a labor dispute. Jesus was able to escape to San Diego.
In 1980, Jesus created the weekly news publication called Zeta. It was published in the United States, as well as smuggled into Mexico. Eventually they moved back to Tijuana. In 1994, Zeta published a full investigation on Luis Donaldo Colosio's assassination. In the 2000s, Jesus wanted to stop publishing the dangerous stories from Zeta, but reporter Francisco Ortiz persuaded him not to in an attempt to continue publishing his stories on organized crime. Jesus began his policy, however, after Ortiz was murdered in front of his children.
In 2006, Jesus passed away due to stomach cancer complications. He was one of the four winners of the CPJ International Press Freedom Awards and won the Maria Moors Cabot Prize from Columbia University. He was named one of the International Press Institute's World Press Freedom Heroes and honored by the World Press Review as the International Editor of the Year in 1998.
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