Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Sinaloa Cartel Behind Mexican Journalists’ Kidnapping

Monday, August 2, 2010 |

Reporters Javier Canales Fernández, from Multimedios Torreón; Facundo Rosas, comissioner of the general Federal Police; Genaro García Luna, secretary of Federal Public Security, and reporter Alejandro Hernández Pacheco of Televisa Torreón during a press conference.

The Sinaloa cartel was behind the kidnapping last week of four journalists, all of whom are now free, in the northern Mexican state of Durango, Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna said.

“The goal of this group was to transmit messages from organized crime to impact the community, using the reporters as the channel,” Garcia Luna said in a press conference.

The four reporters were abducted Monday while covering a disturbance at a Durango prison whose warden was arrested on charges that she allowed prisoners out at night to commit more than 30 killings on behalf of a drug cartel.

The journalists disappeared in La Laguna, a region that sprawls across parts of Coahuila and Durango states.

Reporters Javier Canales Fernández, of Multimedios Torreón and Alejandro Hernández Pacheco, of Televisa Torreón during a press conference after being rescued.

Televisa cameraman Alejandro Hernandez and Milenio Television cameraman Jaime Canales were rescued by Federal Police officers Saturday in Gomez Palacio, a city in Durango, officials said.

Televisa correspondent Hector Gordoa was released unharmed on Thursday.

Oscar Solis, a reporter with the Durango newspaper El Vespertino, has also been released, Garcia Luna said.

Gordoa and Solis were released following negotiations with the kidnappers, who were not caught, the public safety secretary said.

“When they noticed the presence of the Federal Police around the safe house, the kidnappers fled,” Garcia Luna said.

The main concern was the journalists’ safety and investigators are continuing to work to find the kidnappers, the public safety secretary said.

Two of the journalists appeared at the press conference on Saturday.

“All day and all night they intimidated us ... when they saw themselves surrounded, they really thought about harming us, but they treated us badly,” Hernandez said.

The cameraman, who suffered a head injury when he was hit with a board, said he was convinced that the gunmen were going to kill him.

Some of Mexico’s leading broadcast journalists went silent on the air last week in a symbolic protest of the journalists’ kidnapping in Durango.

“Unusual things” are being seen in Mexico, muckraking pundit Carmen Aristegui said Friday on MVS radio, citing the decision of Televisa host Denisse Maerker to display a blank screen for most of her hour-long weekly public affairs program on the country’s dominant network.

Anchors of a news program on W Radio followed Maerker’s example on Friday.

Mexico has seen an escalation in violence against journalists, the country’s independent National Human Rights Commission said Thursday.

While the commission puts the number of journalists slain in Mexico since 2000 at 64, the Press Freedom Foundation says that 10 have killed this year alone and more than 70 over the past decade.

Most of the murders of reporters have been attributed to the conflicts among drug cartels and between the criminals and security forces that are blamed for some 25,000 deaths in Mexico over the past 3½ years.







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14 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

This clearly shows the amount of control the cartels now have over the population. The government in Mexico is about as effective as the Afghan gov.

Valentina said...

Anonymous 4:48 AM:

I wouldn't put it in those terms; there have been several notable extraditions (of Mexican cartel members) to the U.S. in the past couple of years. Which does show that the Mexican government is active in pursing members of organized crime, regardless of which cartel they belong to.

For the most part, I believe the Mexican government needs to emphasize on issues related to education and providing better opportunities for their citizens.

In other words, if there were more opportunities as to better jobs or obtaining better education, many of the younger individuals, who do get involved with organized crime, would probably seek a different path.

But those opportunities are not there and criminal behavior, for the most part, is learned, so if the prospect of a better life is not possible, what else do you expect?

I hope my comment is thought provoking, I'm not trying to bash the Mexican government. For the record, I'm simply trying to point out an important and highly relevant issue.

"We will either find a way, or make one." — Hannibal Barca

Anonymous said...

For anonymous 4:48, "For the most part, I believe the Mexican government needs to emphasize on issues related to education and providing better opportunities for their citizens.

In other words, if there were more opportunities as to better jobs or obtaining better education, many of the younger individuals, who do get involved with organized crime, would probably seek a different path."

Sounds simple....Question: How do you keep business coming to Mexico when there is no rule of Law? I have closed my company and laid off 60 full time and another 30 part time workers. We could make due with the corruption raging through the government, but now the narco's blocking roads, robbing employees and supplies. How can I afford it? Now that I am closed, where do those people go to get jobs?
If the government could emphasize educational issues, what opportunities exist when you can't run a profitable business? The challange is the corruption: it lives and breathes in Mexico. It is in the schools (teachers will pass students for a bottle of crown royal or a live chicken), county workers will use county water trucks to bring water to your parcela, Oxxo workers will throw in a few extra beers, irrigation district will give water to persons who have no water rights, governors pay people who helped get them elected with phantom jobs, customs allows all kinds of blackmarket items, etc. You can't tolerate corruption on any level. If only 5% of all murders are solved in Mexico, what makes you think any law is enforced.

How do you get Foreign Direct Investment (better paying jobs) with all the corruption? NAFTA was supposed to resolve many of the issues, but has proven ineffective. Do you think Mexico can offer better paying jobs without FDI?

The Mexican people are getting exactly what they deserve. You can't, as a society, tolerate undermining the rule of law on any level. Period. Until that concept is practiced the result is what you are seeing today.

As it stands, the only business hiring is the drug gangs. And maybe that is what Mexico wants.

Valentina said...

Anonymous 1:14 PM:

I'm sorry to hear that you were forced to close down your business; I can only imagine how difficult it has been for you since then. But your statement about Mexico deserving the kind of violence that predominates today is just as bad as those that advocate senseless violence and ignorance. Again, I'm sure that your personal situation is difficult and beyond overwhelming, and trust me, I understand.

I quoted Hannibal Barca, because I truly believe in the saying 'where there's a will, there's a way,' but when there's no possibility of finding that 'way,' in Hannibal Barca's words: "We will either find a way, or make one."

If you're a business man, and a well educated one at that, you probably have a family, so you have no reason to give up on your country.

Without hope and faith, there's nothing left. You can only do your part by not contributing to the corruption in Mexico.

Anonymous said...

@Valentina

So,is that all youv'e got for a country that's gone full retard,has corruption as a cultural thing and is completely out of control....well,take calderons corrupted chair and we'll se how long your'e alive when you take Hannibal Barcas word with you to Juarez to speak with the youths.good luck.

Oh,BTW,those "several notable extraditions" hasn't made shit.

Anonymous said...

Corruption is rampant in every sector of government and business in Mexico.Even children learn to accept it from grade school on into adulthood.It is a way of life through out all of the country. If the army defeated all of the cartels then the army would control and operate the narcotics and human smuggleing.Which may be the objective of Calderon's war in the first place. I can only see Mexico as a failed and/or a narco state.Only a Revolution or an intervention by the U.S. Military could prevent it.Very sad situation.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what it's going on,but I will tell you this those wounds are fake.

Anonymous said...

"The Mexican people are getting exactly what they deserve. You can't, as a society, tolerate undermining the rule of law on any level. Period. Until that concept is practiced the result is what you are seeing today." "And maybe that is what Mexico wants."



My, my... Is that your idea of a win-win argument? I mean...can't you at least attempt to make yourself sound somewhat like a man whose income is directly proportional to his skills in diplomacy?

...you see Mr. Businessman, employer, that dealt with the sindicatos, hires, fires, deals with suppliers, customers, managers, politicians, all his employees, drivers, chamber maids, the guy that shines his shoes, ect, ect, ...I wonder how long you've been struggling with this? I mean...having to daily bring yourself to deal with people that can't help themselves but be self-destructive and corrupt. Some people might say its in their DNA.

While you're thinking about it, I suggest you to take your "FDI" and deposit it uncomfortably.

Anonymous said...

I'm not Anonymous 1:14 PM, but have to agree: a company I advise considered opening a software development office in Monterrey last year, but I had to veto it on grounds of security.

With a little more time on the plane you can get to Chile or Uruguay, and run a company without having to bribe anyone at all. Paying more for travel is nothing compared to the increased business risk, insurance costs, corruption, etc.

Oil/mining companies will put up with it. Anyone else will eventually go elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between promoting senseless violence and allowing that which was sown to be reaped. In this case, Mexico is reaping what has been sown over the last 50 years of corruption. Pain tends to enable the change that must take place. At this very moment, my countrymen are not thinking revolution. There is no conviction that it is better to die on our feet vs. living on our knees. They are hoping for things to return to "normal". You know, the good ole days, when narcos wouldn't bother the people and corruption is OK. How do you go back to that? The cartels will only take more, because the people don't value the rule of Law. My point is: pontificating about the value and necessity of education and government creating opportunities sounds magical and wonderful and gives me a fuzzy feeling in the same place the cartels want to put their foot. Why waste the time? Governments don't create opportunities, education only gets you half of the way to better paying jobs. You must attract private industry. And that can only be accomplished when law and order are restored. Read the Pentagons New Map by Thomas Barnett. Heard him speak at the Naval War College. Good insight.

BTW...I think Hannibal is working for the cartels.

The comment about the army wanting to run the drug trade. VERY INTERESTING. That gives me something to think about. Maybe Calderon wants to be like Hugo Chavez in that regard.

Anonymous said...

yeah the good 'ol days are over in mexico for a long while

Valentina said...

Anonymous 8:50 PM:

For the record, Barca died around 182 or 183 BC, so I highly doubt he's working for anyone.

However, your words are definitely working for the drug cartels. I suspect that you're the businessman (the Anonymous 1:14 PM), it's quite easy to tell, since you seem so defensive. Very, defensive. Again, I'm sorry that you can't afford to live as lush as you're probably accustomed to, but there are more important things than materialism.

Think about that.

Anonymous said...

August 2nd 1:14

Corruption is the problem.
Sad to say, but this person is absolutely correct, until the Mexican people stand up and say NO to corrupt politicians, police officers, teachers, businessmen, and the like, this is exactly what you get. Violence! Maybe they need to see more death on the street to make their stand. Sad, but I think the people are getting what they have created by being silent!

Anonymous said...

Sadly Valentina, you are right. For decades, damn close to a century, Mexico and all of it's citizens were in a slumber, comforming to what was given, no more, no less.

In some ways, it was even énjoyable', easy. You get a traffic ticket, you bribe the cop with "soda"money. Your kid isn't smart enough to pass an admissions test, you make some calls, show a bit of cash, eberybody knows somebody. It all seemed innocent. Don't mess with me, give me my pan de cada dia, and I'm happy, I'll settle.

Everyone knew of corruption, it wasn't hidden. It wasn't performed behind closed doors, it was open and on the table, it was normal.

Now the corruption has moved on to another level. It's not just politicians telling lies, or big wigs lining their pockets...

As the drugs kept moving to the north, nobody cared. It was a business, supply and demand, a simple transaction, nobody gets hurt, everyone gets what they need, both countries: leaders, politicians, security, Presidents, shook hands under the table and turned their heads..

After cartels begsn to splinter and regroup, it started to get a bit tense. Everyone wants the corridors, the citizens still slept (as long as it doesn't affect me or mine, it;s okay)..

Now it does affect me and mine. It affects you and yours, us and ours, and them and theirs. Everything is connected. From paying $20 pesos for a pirate movie to paying off your kids teacher. From there it goes to bigger hands with more money: pay off the cops, the judges, the politics, the state, the U.S. and anybody or anything thing that doesn't accept pay is eliminated.

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