Friday, February 24, 2012

Mexican journalist on drug lords: "If they're going to kill you, they're going to kill you'

Thousands of guns lie on the ground before their destruction in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua State, Mexico on February 16, 2012. At least 6000 rifles and pistols seized to drugs cartels were destroyed by members of the Mexican Army.

By Erika Angulo and Wilma Hernandez, NBC News

"If they're going to kill you, they're going to kill you," said Luz del Carmen Sosa, a reporter in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and mother of two, who spends most of her day running from one murder scene to another. "Even if you arrive surrounded by police, security escorts, whoever wants to hurt you will hurt you."

Just 20 miles from Ciudad Juarez, photojournalist Alejandro Hernández Pacheco did get hurt. On July 26, 2010, Hernandez was part of a TV news crew videotaping at a prison in the city of Gomez Palacio when he was kidnapped at gunpoint, along with two colleagues.

"They took us to a place that was covered with dried blood, with teeth and hair stuck to the walls," said Hernandez. He stopped himself from describing the room any further, saying it brings back terrifying memories.

"They hit us until they tired," he said, adding that the gunmen also threatened to burn him alive. "They hit me in the head with a piece of wood, on my back, my knees, my ankles." The men were released five days later. Authorities believe the kidnappers were members of the notorious Sinaloa cartel.

Mexico has become a killing field for reporters, according to a study released this week by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. The organization’s "Attacks on the Press in 2011" study shows 48 Mexican journalists have disappeared or have been killed in the last five years across the country.

CPJ's survey found the increase in crimes against media workers began with the start of Mexican President Felipe Calderon's escalated war against narcotics traffickers, a crusade which has led rival cartels to fight for control of the profitable drug routes into the United States.


Stringer/Mexico / Reuters
Galia Rodriguez, 8, daughter of reporter Armando Rodriguez who was killed in Ciudad Juarez, takes part in an anniversary in the journalists's park in the border city of Ciudad Juarez on Nov. 13, 2010. Suspected drug gangs shot dead Rodriguez, a Mexican crime reporter who worked for El Diario de Ciudad Juarez on Nov. 13, 2008 in Ciudad Juarez.


‘Nothing has changed’


Pressure from international press organizations like CPJ prompted the Calderon administration to launch an initiative to protect the country's journalists.

London-based writers group PEN has called for "immediate and definitive action" to end the killings of journalists in Mexico.

But the killings and kidnappings continue.

"Nothing has changed," Hernandez said. "No one is going to protect them [journalists], they have no one to turn to for protection, but themselves."

In Ciudad Juarez, a city that sees an average of eight murders a day, Sosa says journalists put competition for exclusive stories aside and call each other when news breaks, so they can travel to cover developments as a group. A 23-year veteran crime reporter of the award-winning El Diario, Sosa and other experienced journalists have also gotten used to giving up their byline for a simple "staff" byline when they write a story that may infuriate a cartel leader or government official.

10 comments:

  1. This situation really sucks. Although there have been FEW narco-journalists killed, for the most part, honest journalist have been the ones gunned down. I’m glad pages like this exist. I’ve been doing an anonymous work on Wikipedia on the cartels and events in the Mexican Drug War. That’s the only safe way in this nightmare.

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  2. It is weird the article would fail to mention the reason why the four journalists were released was because a TV Azteca station one of the cameramen belonged to agreed to broadcast a Sinaloa Cartel video.

    The kidnappings took place near CERESO No. 2 in Gomez Palacio, Durango just after the story broke about prison officials allowing Sinaloa shooters out of prison at night to do hits on Los Zetas' targets.

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  3. Really has to asked,what has become of a huge percentage of Mexican men?This is precisely the reason why wealth has to shared.5% of a any given country's population controlling wealth,job creation,training,land allocation,banking,etc,etc.If a man cannot get a job to support his family,he is going to join a cartel for an income of some kind.Surely this is common sense?Is crime connected to poverty?Bet your fuckin life it is.But when corrupt government is in charge,or an apathetic government,or plain greed ridden,guess what happens?If you can get a job,you can make money.But then,what government gives a thought to common sense?The picture of that little girl is fuckin heartbreaking,here are some of the consequences of this situation,innocent children being thrown into something they don't even understand.I hope she is alright somehow,somewhere better.Than the monster,Mexico has turned into.Are there any good strong men with good intentions left?

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  4. Nothing will change ,Mexican journalist almost all agree that Mexico needs to return to the old days of PRI blind eye. There has been little support in Mexican Media for the hard job of cleaning up and reforming Mexico,WHY ?I CAN ONLY SPECULATE!

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  5. After the PRI comes to power, they'll let their Zeta backers take control and the war will be over. Get used to being under the boot heels of the PRI/Zetas, Mexico.

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  6. American prohibition laws are the work of SATAN

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  7. Well look at this?
    Mention The Lazca,Zetas,z40,Chapo Guzman,The Mayo,CDG,CDS,Macho Prieto,Chino blah,blah,Barbie blah,blah,and you get a million comments,and judgements,opinions,solutions,threats,all kind of input.Well look at this,decent people getting killed,a picture of a broken hear-ted little girl,crying for her papa.And we get,
    "6 COMMENTS",and i was one of the original posters,how disheartening is that,and somehow typical.Sad man,just sad.

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  8. Feb 25 5:01...yea u wish.keep dreaming buddy

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  9. Funny comment there "American prohibition laws are the work of SATAN".... hey idiot, what about the killings of innocents? What about all the torture carried out by cartels? What about all the kidnappings, abductions and rapes by cartel thugs? It's easy to point fingers and blame the US... but I'm sure you're safely posting this garbage behind a computer monitor in the US aren't you.... coward.

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  10. @February 28, 2012 8:19 AM .Ye man,im on that one.The biggest whiners are the ones claimin Mexico,while living safely in the US,and then blaming the US?They make you sick.These idiots try and compare serial killers with cartels?Serial killers are not running the US.
    Who is running every facet of authority in Mexico?

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