Byron Pitts for CBS: Staying One Step Ahead of Danger

January 9th, 2011

January 9, 2011 3:51 PM

Staying One Step Ahead of Danger

Byron Pitts talks about being a “60 Minutes” correspondent, a CBS News “fireman,” and how reporting in Mexico compares to the dangerous assignments of his career.

By: Overtime Staff

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Correspondent Byron Pitts has covered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, natural disasters in Haiti and America, but the palpable feeling of danger he felt in Mexico was odd even for this seasoned reporter. In fact, according to “Reporters Without Borders,” Mexico was the second most deadly place in the world for reporters in 2010 (second only to Pakistan and tied with Iraq) with seven journalists killed there.

Santiago is a small resort town that’s been likened to the Hamptons. It’s also an important location for powerful drug cartels, which ship illegal narcotics through the town en route to the U.S. border – allegedly with the help of the local police. Pitts and his team chose Santiago because the town’s young, charismatic mayor had recently been kidnapped and killed. A number of the town’s police officers are now facing charges in the crime. As Pitts says in his story: if you want to understand the scope of the violence in Mexico, you have to understand what happened in Santiago.