Occupational Health News Roundup

Nearly 1,300 people have been killed in the Mexican city of Juarez so far this year, and journalists are among those targeted by the mafia. On November 13, Armando Rodriguez, a 40-year-old reporter for El Diaro de Juarez, was gunned down as he sat in his car in his driveway. Two other reporters have received death threats and have fled with their families to Texas. John Burnett reports for NPR’s Weekend Edition:

According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, 24 reporters have been killed in Mexico since 2000 and seven have disappeared since 2005. None of the cases — not one — has been solved despite the fact that two years ago, a special federal prosecutor for crimes against journalists was appointed.

Mexican journalists say that with mafia enforcers as well as police agents able to intimidate, kidnap or exterminate reporters with impunity, reporters have to look out for themselves. Among recent security measures in Juarez: no bylines on and no in-depth crime stories.

Journalists shouldn’t have to fear for their lives when they do their jobs – but when they’re reporting on the work of powerful criminals, they often do.

In other news:

New York Times: Mining deaths in South Africa have fallen from an average of 742 a year to about 220. To reduce the toll further, Parliament is considering a measure that threatens company executives with fines and prison time if mineworkers die.

Reuters: A new CDC study finds that healthcare workers are more likely than their counterparts in other professions to die from bloodborne infections and related illnesses.

Newsweek: Medical residencies leave doctors-in-training with little time for their own families, but only a tiny percentage take advantage of part-time residency opportunities.

New York Times: When thousands of guest farmworkers came from Mexico to the US between 1942 and 1964, the Mexican government took 10% of their wages and was supposed to return that share to the workers once they came back home – but it took a recent lawsuit to prompt the government to pay up. Now the aging workers are struggling to provide documentation that demonstrates what they’re owed.

Washington Posts: Video simulators help veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan re-learn their civilian driving skills.