Emilio Gutierrez Soto fled to the United States a decade ago after articles he wrote alleging corruption in the Mexican military caused his name to land on a hit list.

HOUSTON (AP) — Advocates for a Mexican journalist detained in a remote West Texas facility are asking the U.S. government to grant him asylum instead of deporting him to a country where he believes he’ll be killed.

Emilio Gutierrez Soto fled to the United States a decade ago after articles he wrote alleging corruption in the Mexican military caused his name to land on a hit list. After coming within hours of potential deportation, Gutierrez is appealing the denial of his asylum request while in detention.

His lawyer, Eduardo Beckett, said Monday that he thinks the U.S. government is trying to push Gutierrez into leaving.

But Gutierrez says he’s afraid of taking “one step into Mexico.”

Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalism, in league with Syria and Iraq.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast rewritten or redistributed.)

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