The French government named Mexican journalist and activist Lydia Cacho a Knight of the Legion of Honor for her work on behalf of children's and women's rights and for her contribution to freedom of expression.
The honor was awarded Friday on International Women's Day by the French ambassador to Mexico, Elisabeth Beton Delegue, during a ceremony at the diplomat's residence in the Mexican capital.
Beton Delegue described Cacho as "a person who dedicates her life to defending women who are marginalized or victims of violence."
In a statement to reporters after receiving the decoration, Cacho said that "the abuse, disappearances, threats and kidnappings" continue in Mexico.
In her opinion, those responsible for these deeds "are mostly police, federal investigative agents, the military, and even people sent by the governors."
Cacho is an award-winning investigative reporter, human rights activist and columnist for Mexico City daily El Universal.
Cacho has been the target of threats since 2005, when she published a book, "Los demonios del Eden" (The Demons of Eden), that exposed pedophile rings in Mexico operating under the protection of politicians and business leaders.
For revealing the crimes of Lebanese-born Mexican businessman Jean Succar Kuri and others, Cacho was also the victim of psychological torture and police abuses, which she revealed in another book titled "Memorias de una Infamia" (Memoirs of an Infamy).
Her 2010 book "Esclavas del Poder" (Slaves of Power) examined people trafficking and its victims around the world.
Mexico, where more than 80 journalists have been murdered since 2000, is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for members of the media.