Saturday, October 19, 2013

In Mexico, violence against journalists growing and reports on violence disappearing

The report originally appeared in the Global Investigative Journalism Conference news website.  Crossposted at the University of Texas' Knight Center for journalism.  Translated from Portugese.  The news release was a digest of a conference panel discussion held recently.
Gracias to Veronica Calderon for the link

By Rodrigo Gomes

The reported cases of aggression against journalists in Mexico reached a total of 225 between January and September of this year. Of these, two of the journalists died and 33 left the country under threats. In addition to the violence of organized crime, a serious problem of institutional censorship also affects Mexico.

Other cases include the collective kidnapping of a team of journalists, the burning of reporters' vehicles and an attack in which a grenade was thrown at a newspaper's building. The situation was explained by Ignácio Rodríguez Reyna, of the Mexican magazine Emmquis, during a talk on investigations of organized crime as a part of the Global Investigative Journalism Conference. Journalists that also participated include Juan Luis Font (Guatemala), Romina Mella, of the site IDL Reporters (Peru) and Martha Soto, of the newspaper El Tiempo (Colombia)
In the institutional sphere, it has been six months since official reports on drug trafficking and the wave of violence in the nation simply disappeared. The reason behind this is the editorial control exercised by the Secretariat of the Interior of Mexico (responsible for public safety in the nation), which does not permit the distribution of news about drug trafficking, assassinations or violence
According to Reyna, censorship in the nation is increasing for two reasons. The first is self-censorship as a mechanism of self-protection on the part of the media, which claim that the safety conditions to cover subjects like drug trafficking and violence do not exist.
"In the state of Tamaulipas, the 56 existing newspapers practically don't talk about violence because they can't guarantee the safety of their reporters," Reyna said.

The second reason is institutional. "Since Enrique Peña Nieto was elected, the Secretariat of the Interior has intended to control the news about violence. The disappearance of stories about violence depends on whether the publication can be considered traditional or leftist," Reyna explained. he added that "the Mexican State has negotiated with drug traffickers with the pretense of reducing official rates of violence," he said. However, between January and June of this year, there were 5,989 murders in the nation.

For the journalist, the return to action of the Mexican army brought a new harmony to the nation. "With this,  a certain control over the situation was guaranteed, ensuring the benefits of the drug traffickers, politicians, businessmen and others connected to organized crime," Reyna said.

Other roundtable participants talked about their work on clearing up the relationships between drug traffickers and the different spheres of power in the country: military, political and private.

Martha Soto talked about a report on which she is still working about how organized crime is rooted within the structure of power in a country. "Drug traffickers discovered the importance of linking themselves to the politicians and businessmen not only to hide themselves but also to keep and guarantee their interests," Soto said.

She added that one of her main works is about people who previously formed part of the cartels and are now successful businessmen with new names and new pasts.

Juan Luis Font talked about the investigation of a military officer involved in the murder of bishop Juan José Gerardi. According to the reporter, the officer controls the prison where he is serving his 25-year sentence. "He leaves (the prison) in official vehicles and picks the director of the prison. We think he is getting plastic surgery because he is always going to secret clinics," Font said.

"The parallel powers present in all political structures of the nation compromise the functioning of the State. The press has the fundamental role of deconstructing this power, which is invisible to the majority of people," he added
Rominia Mella talked about a report that lays out a profile of drug trafficking in Peru and describes its operation, production, exportation and billing "as a part of an extensive job, with intelligence information from police, military sources, the population and even traffickers and soldiers of Sendero Luminoso (a Peruvian guerrilla group)," Mella explained.

Rodrigo Gomes is a senior journalism student attending Anhembi Morumbi University in São Paulo, Brazil.


  1. if the war on the real enemy is not working -
    then why not attack the truth itself?
    this is what is happening.

  2. Chapo is weak mesaing with journalist

  3. Almost 6000 murders in 6 months? Wtf? We got syria basically at our back door.u.s and mexico need to wake the fuck up!!!!

  4. The best interests of Mexico can be served by handing the country over to the cartels.
    They are in fact the defacto government to all intents and purposes.

  5. Since the last century and into this century this is about as bad as it gets.
    Journalists have always had to be cautious . But this silencing of the media
    where Mexico can PROFIT from TOURISM at the cost of a few 100,000 "ORDINARY" MEXICAN LIVES has gone too far. Time to Expose corrupt little Mexico for what it is.
    Mexico is a rotting corpse that will only decompose more. Silence the media like Shitler did. Poor bastards don't have a chance. No one gives a Damn about a poor Mexican .Even if they do they cannot do anything to stop the daily ,hourly rapes, beheadings, dismemberments . Even during the 1914-1920 years journalists could report in Mexico. It has been said that 600,000 plus Mexicans are still unaccounted for during those years. What a horrible place Mexico has become. Poor , Poor , People with no one to help them . Just keep the tourist dollar or Euro coming in from the resorts and let the innocents die in Tamps, Michoacán , Coahuila , Sinaloa, Nuevo Leon and everywhere else inland. Mexico is now worst than Shitler . A clandestine grave is all a person gets now days in mexico .Beheaded and bloaded with maggots and smelling of stench , If YOU think think Mexico is some kinda tourist heaven or paradise your a stupid uneducated ,uninformed, & every dollar you spend in Mexico perpetuates the evil there by silencing the media in the name of tourism. If you still think mexico is some sort of heaven.
    Think about the Bar Heaven & go Buch Dich fur zie schlong. Boycott the whole freakin place . Evil is Evil plain and simple whether is Hitler or Principe.

    Search : American journalist missing in Mexico and see what you get !!!!

    Firmado: Roughrider 1898

  6. Mexico needs the U.N. patrolling the areas that are out of control.
    Too many lives have been lost to chaos .

  7. I don't think people in the US realize how censored our news is. I have to go to European news to find out what us really going on here. Stupid stories about cats & dogs & fluff are all we have. Journalism is dead in the US. Watch GMA, you can count the actual news stories, zero. All fluff. Plus the fluff stories are a week old by the time they get on tv. The only hope we have is independent bloggers for getting real news here. Even then the law was passed for the Internet Kill Switch so if it gets too hot we'll see that happen. People in the US aren't paying attention, no one wants to deal with anything, they just want to fill their Rx for psych meds & check out of reality by watching tv, sports. The US isn't that different than MX and it's quickly looking more like Venezuela everyday. Are you folks from MX sure you want to move here? I think we're trying to get out, are you sure you're paying attention to what your getting yourselves in to? Currently I have friends who are moving to Chile and I'm looking into that too. If you know what's going on in the US for real then you know its over. The news blackout here has people snowed.

    1. Chile like Argentina,and other countries, victims of military coups by greedy murdering traitors,still are at the mercy of the militaries that,today,shamelessly,still honor jorge rafael videla and augusto pinochet,don francisco's murdering hero.
      Is there a military ceremony of repudiation?
      one needs to be created,where the people turns its back on the military,just to let them know where we stand...

  8. what do you notice right here?
    the story about the death of Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix gets almost 100 comments. But the story about the death of many journalists gets less than 10 comments.

    the cartels have woven themselves into the fabric of Mexican life - like some sort of twisted soap opera. People are terrorized by them, but at the same time they live for their news and stories.

    1. Bread and circus,the people's needs provided by the dominant class,couple it with divide and conquer and you'll see it is all coming as planned,side casualties do not matter in the plans for global dominance,it's not that they are unplanned or unexpected or even planed for,they are just planned...

  9. Whatever happened to the whole kiki-cia story? Proceso still going at it, but just about every other news media outlet has stopped or more like nobody even run it, no traction at all, it is all so weird.

  10. Let's look for the book excerpts,if it looks good,many people will buy it,Amazon will deliver the book to your doorstep.
    The one saving grace of the US of A,we still have freedom of expression,for most of all,try and use it wisely and get wise,best regards...

  11. Parece k el payaso no hizo reír a nadie =«


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