- The Spanish journalist David Beriain who was assassinated in Burkina Faso had filmed a documentary about the Sinaloa Cartel
- On one occasion, the journalist narrated how he was able to contact the Mexican cartels
- “You need to understand right now that this is not a game,” said the drug trafficker according to the journalist.
This Tuesday the government of Spain reported that journalist David Beriain and cameraman Roberto Fraile, who were kidnapped on Monday along with an Irish journalist, were killed in an ambush by gunmen in Burkina Faso, a West African country, while filming a documentary on poaching.
Beriain, 44, worked in 2017 on the documentary “Clandestino”, a serial documentary that was broadcast on the DMAX pay television channel of Discovery Networks in which he revealed how the “Sinaloa Cartel” operated, headed by Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as “El Chapo”.
David Beriain narrated how was the first contact with the cartel
In a interview offered to the Discovery Channel, Beriain talked about how she was able to contact the Mexican cartels. In the video published on the platform’s YouTube channel, the Spanish journalist confessed that the first contact with the cartel was difficult and that they told him that if something went wrong they would kill the person who took him with them. To see the video you can click here
“If you are here talking to me it is because I trust the person who brought you here, I trust your contact. If something goes wrong, I want to, I am going to hold that person responsible for what happens. It is possible that he will retaliate against him, it is possible that he will kill him, ”said the drug trafficker according to Beriain.
“This is not a game”
In the interview, the journalist indicated that the drug trafficker, who was not identified, warned him that the lives of the people who had put him in contact with them clearly depended on him. “You need to understand at this point that this is not a game and that somehow you are throwing the lives of these people on your back,” said the person on the poster as recalled by Beriain.
At that time, the film director also expressed his gratitude to the people who run the risk of leading journalists to meet with Mexican cartels, knowing how dangerous such an encounter is. “They put a tremendous responsibility on themselves, choosing these people and choosing them well is part of the success or failure of our work,” Beriain said.
David Beriain spent three months with the Sinaloa Cartel
For the report, Beriain spent three months living with the people of the cartel, so that he was able to know how it operated and how the drug was transferred to the United States, reported El Universal.
When interviewed about that report, Beriain said that when he was in the pre-production stage, “El Chapo” was captured, which made things a bit complicated for him and for his team, who, he said, was watched and even threatened. He was even able to live with Doña Consuelo, “El Chapo’s” mother, and see how methamphetamine was produced in the Sierra de Sinaloa.
Live in danger
Beriain knew what it was like to live in danger. Through his documentaries, he showed some of the most dangerous areas in the world, including reports with the Taliban, in Afghanistan, or with the now ex-guerrilla of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. He also approached the world of gangs, in El Salvador.
Beriain, originally from Pamplona, in Navarra, was a war journalist for CNN and founded the 93 meters production house, specialized in documentaries on sensitive subjects.
The report that cost the journalist his life
At the time of the attack, the three men were traveling with an anti-poaching patrol of about 40 people, the Spanish minister said. “It is a dangerous area where terrorists, bandits and jihadists regularly operate,” said the official.
The Irish government said it was aware of the reports and was in contact with its international partners about the situation on the ground. The AP had access to an audio message in which a jihadist group known as JNIM, linked to Al Qaeda, allegedly claimed responsibility for the attack. “We killed three white people. We also got two vehicles with weapons and 12 motorcycles, ”says the recording.
Journalists were ambushed
The army’s special wildlife protection unit was ambushed while traveling with foreigners 15 kilometers (9 miles) from its base in the eastern city of Natiaboni, said Yendifimba Jean-Claude Louari, mayor of Fada N ‘ gourma, to The Associated Press.
Two soldiers were wounded in the attack and evacuated to a military hospital in Ouagadougou, the capital. One soldier suffered injuries to one leg and the other to an arm, which had to be amputated, said people familiar with the incident who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.
Soldiers tried to protect them
During the attack, they said, the soldiers tried to protect the foreigners, but at the end of the shooting they realized that they had disappeared. The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, sent his condolences to the relatives and friends of the reporters in a tweet.
“Our recognition to those who, like them, carry out courageous and essential journalism from conflict zones on a daily basis,” said the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, on his official Twitter account, the AP news agency reported.