Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Censor or die: The death of Mexican news in the age of drug cartels

Posted by DD, republished from Washington Post
dd: a thanks to chimera for posting on the BB Forum.
Hildbrando “Brando” Deandar’s family has been in northern Mexico’s journalism business for nearly 100 years. But in the past 10 years, one beat has become a potentially fatal task: reporting on the country’s savage drug cartels. (Brad Horn/The Washington Post)
There is a 4 minute video with the story in the Washington Post, but I could not embed it here.  It is titled "One Journalist"s experience on Mexico's deadliest beat"  Click the WP link above to watch it. 
By Dana Priest
REYNOSA, Mexico — As deadline descended on El Mañana’s newsroom and reporters rushed to file their stories, someone in the employ of a local drug cartel called with a demand from his crime boss.

The caller was a journalist for another newspaper, known here as an enlace, or “link” to the cartel. The compromised journalist barked out the order: Publish an article saying the mayor in Matamoros had not paid the cartel $2 million a month in protection fees, as an El Mañana front-page story had alleged the day before.

“They want us to say he’s not guilty,” the editor who took the call told his colleagues during the episode in late October. Knowing glances passed between them as a visiting Washington Post reporter looked on.

They all knew that defiance carried a high price.

The enlaces are part of the deeply institutionalized system of cartel censorship imposed on media outlets in northeastern Mexico abutting the border of Texas. How it works is an open secret in newsrooms here but not among readers. They are unaware of the life-and-death decisions editors make every day not to anger different local cartel commanders, each of whom has his own media philosophy.

Submitting to cartel demands is the only way to survive, said Hildebrando “Brando” Deandar Ayala, 39, editor in chief of El Mañana, one of the oldest and largest newspapers in the region with a print circulation of 30,000. “You do it or you die, and nobody wants to die,” he said. “Autocensura — self-censorship — that’s our shield.”

Readers get angry when they don’t get the news they need, he said. Resentment against El Mañana grew so strong two years ago that reporters took the logos off their cars and stopped carrying their identification on assignments.

“The readers hate us sometimes,” Deandar said. “But they don’t know the real risks we go through.”

Mexico has long been a deadly place for reporters. Some 88 journalists have been slain in the last two decades, according to Article 19, a worldwide advocacy group that promotes press freedom.

The risks have been especially high for El Mañana because its circulation area is bounded to the west by the birthplace of the Zetas criminal network in Nuevo Laredo and to the east by the Gulf crime syndicate’s home base in Matamoros.

In February, the last time El Mañana defied a cartel’s censorship rules, an editor in its Matamoros bureau was dragged outside, stuffed in a van and beaten as his abductors drove around threatening him with death.
“Next time, we’ll kill you!” one yelled before pushing him out of the vehicle.

Four El Mañana journalists have been killed in the past 10 years. Others survived assassination attempts, kidnappings, and grenade and machine-gun attacks on their offices. Deandar has been shot, kidnapped and had his home set on fire, he said.
Hildebrando “Brando” Deandar Ayala, editor in chief of El Mañana, center, checks in with different departments at the newspaper’s office in Reynosa, Mexico, on Oct. 29. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

The worst assaults began in 2004, when an editor in Nuevo Laredo was stabbed to death. Two years later, gunmen broke into the bureau there, detonated a grenade and sprayed machine gunfire, leaving one employee paralyzed.  Afterward, bulletproof glass and electronic security keys were installed at its three offices, where the blinds are always drawn.

In March 2010, when the Gulf cartel defeated the Zetas for control of Reynosa, it took revenge on three El Mañana reporters whom the Zetas had forced to watch one of its mass executions.

The cartel called the three Reynosa reporters and told them, “ ‘either you come in or we’ll pick you up,’ ” an editor there at the time recalled. They surrendered to the cartel and were never heard from again. Their presumed slayings were never reported by El Mañana, editors said, because that’s what the Gulf commander demanded. The enlace passed word that the killings were a one-time message to the Zetas, not a tactic the cartel intended to repeat against the newspaper.

Twice in 2012, gunmen from the Zetas shot up the offices of the Nuevo Laredo bureau. Not long after, El Mañana announced it would no longer print cartel news in its Nuevo Laredo edition. Articles about Nuevo Laredo crime sometimes appear in other editions, but without a byline or names in the story.

Five of nine bodies are shown hanging from a bridge in the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo, in Tamaulipas state, in the early morning of May 4, 2012. The bodies showed signs of beating and torture. (Raul Llamas/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

North America’s ISIS

 The cartels’ tactics resemble those most Americans would associate with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. The display of multiple beheaded corpses and bodies hanging from bridges are a regular occurrence. Hundreds of young people have disappeared. Mass graves are commonplace.

The comparison with terrorist groups 7,300 miles away frustrates journalists here. They watch the endless international coverage of Middle East violence yet know that the terrorism just across the U.S. border is largely ignored by the American media.

Mexico’s 2014 murder rate of 13 per 100,000 is twice as high as Afghanistan’s.

“We have a war here, and we’re doing war reporting,” said Ildefonso “Poncho” Ortiz, a deeply sourced reporter for Breitbart News Network’s Cartel Chronicles, one of the only American outlets to track cartel maneuvers. “Sometimes AP [the Associated Press wire service] will pick up a story, but other than that, it never leaves the valley.”

The three largest U.S. newspapers nearby — the Brownsville Herald, the Monitor in McAllen, Tex., and the Laredo Morning Times — forbid their reporters from crossing to report because it’s too dangerous, according to the editors at the newspapers.

Pervasive corruption abets the violence. The local police forces have been disbanded and replaced by the army and federal police in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which includes Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa.

A car bomb killed the Nuevo Laredo mayor one week after he was sworn in. The new Matamoros mayor survived an ambush in March. Cartels install surveillance cameras throughout their cities and employ lookouts with cellphones to keep watch. U.S. Border Patrol officers are regularly indicted for cooperating with organized crime.

“Tamaulipas is a black hole when it comes to information,” said Aaron Nelsen, a reporter based in McAllen for the San Antonio Express-News. “It’s so hard to get anyone to talk about it,” even elected U.S. officials.
Hildebrando Deandar Ayala, editor in chief of El Mañana, sits in the newspaper’s office in McAllen, Tex., in October. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
Ildefonso “Poncho” Ortiz, a reporter with Breitbart News Network, lives in the United States but regularly reports on cartel activities along the Mexico border. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
A cartel media director

El Mañana’s circulation area includes major U.S. border cities; its online editions are read as far north as San Antonio and Houston.

It is a third-generation family enterprise, founded in 1924 as an anti-establishment voice. Over most of its 91 years, its formidable enemies were corrupt politicians and their hand-picked prosecutors.

The newspaper now maintains a working relationship with the local governments, as evidenced by the government advertising it receives. Withholding state advertising dollars is a common and effective economic hammer used against media outlets whose investigations upset the status quo.

“When it’s not the politicians against us, it’s the drug dealers,” said Heriberto Deandar, 78, who co-owns El Mañana with his brother, Brando’s father. “He who is not afraid has no courage.”

Brando was raised in Reynosa but moved to McAllen in 2007 for safety reasons. He commutes to work. Asked why he doesn’t find a safer job, he said simply, “It’s in my blood. I cannot leave.”
During a recent visit to the town, the eerie atmosphere was inescapable.

Reynosa’s wide boulevards were nearly empty. Heavily armed soldiers patrolled in black masks to protect their identities from cartels resentful of the army’s two-year occupation.
Military helicopters whooped periodically overhead, racing to shootouts or hunting suspects. At dusk, hundreds of cars streamed slowly across the international bridge to McAllen, where an increasing number of well-to-do Mexicans have moved their families to safety.

The Metros faction of the Gulf cartel controls much of civic life and all contraband — drugs, sex slaves, immigrant smuggling, fuel, stolen vehicles — in or moving through Reynosa, said journalists and media experts here. Its commander, whose parents are from Reynosa, has a more liberal view of the media than his counterparts in the other two cities.

He seems to care about his image, too, they said, as evidenced by the “narcobanners” that appeared on city bridges in November.

“This is to make it clear that I am a narcotrafficker, not a terrorist like you’ve been saying in the media,” the cartel boss declared in one handwritten sheet-sized banner. “Investigate and check your facts. Crime has lessened since I took charge.”

In Matamoros, though, the commander of the cartel’s Ciclones faction tolerates no coverage. In Nuevo Laredo, the Zetas have a commander of finance, assassinations, logistics, stolen vehicles and fuel, weapons, prostitution, immigrant smuggling — and media.

The Zetas media director, a clean-cut, 30-something man described by one person who knows him as “a pretty friendly guy,” calls enlaces and beat reporters at El Mañana and other media outlets every day to tell them what stories the cartel wants published or censored. One day it’s a story critical of new government limits on imported cars; the next it’s a birthday party in the social pages featuring a cartel boss’s daughter. Sometimes the media director provides photos and video for an article.

“It’s a common conversation every day,” one reporter said.

Reporters have learned to consult him on nearly everything, one media expert said. Even a car crash isn’t a simple car crash. “You have to call somebody to make sure you can write about it,” one journalist said, because it might actually not be an accident but a purposeful vehicular homicide organized by the cartel.

Critical coverage of local politicians is also forbidden.

The three cartel commanders’ differing media philosophies force El Mañana to produce three distinctly different editions. “If you want to find out what’s happening in Nuevo Laredo or Matamoros, you read El Mañana de Reynosa,” Deandar said.

For example, when Mexican troops captured the leader of the Matamoros faction in October, known as “Ciclón 7,” El Mañana did not print a word about it in its Matamoros edition. But in Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo, it was banner news.
With Ciclón 7 gone, Deandar said, “we are waiting to see who is the next chief, so we’ll know the rules.”

Hildebrando Deandar Ayala, editor in chief of El Mañana, right, and Enrique Juarez, his Matamoros editor who was kidnapped by the cartel in February because the paper defied its news blackout, discuss coverage in Deandar’s office. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post

Mechanics of self-censorship
 After hearing the enlace’s demand to exonerate the allegedly corrupt mayor in Matamoros, the editor on duty rubbed his head trying to contain himself.
“First they tell us what not to publish, now they are telling us what to publish!” he yelled before heading upstairs to his office.

He dialed the editor in Matamoros who had passed the enlace’s message to Reynosa, put the phone on speaker mode and upped the volume so the whole room could hear.
Enlaces pass instructions via phone calls, text messages, apps and in personal meetings. They often communicate cartel demands to crime reporters who show up at the scene of shootouts, blockades, car bombs and executions.

Sometimes a cartel member will run into crime reporters at the scene.

“They’ll say, ‘Get the hell out of here! We’ll kill you!’ And we have to go,” one reporter said.
 Three minutes into the conversation with the Matamoros editor, the senior editor began raising his voice about the enlace.

“Give me his name and number!” he shouted. “And tell him you’re not going to take any more messages! No more! Tell him if you take any more messages, I’m going to fire you!”

He hung up, waved around the piece of paper with the enlace’s name and phone number on it and then stood up. It was getting dark. Time to leave for a safer city.

The front-page story that upset the cartel was a reprinted interview with the new mayor of Matamoros, Leticia Salazar, an anti-corruption crusader. The interview was conducted by the national Excelsior newspaper. In it, she accused her predecessor of paying the Gulf cartel more than $2 million a month in protection fees from public works funds and towing fees.

El Mañana’s editors felt safe publishing the interview in all editions because it seemed like a political corruption story, not one about the cartel.

The cartel demand that followed was to run an interview with the former mayor quoting him as saying he was innocent of the allegations. But the former mayor had not requested an interview.

As he left the building, the duty editor said he planned to call the former mayor on the way home.

Speeding through Reynosa’s back roads in the dark, he called the former mayor, who said he had not requested an interview and did not know the cartel had demanded one on his behalf.

It was time for a decision. “If you want an interview, we can do it in our office or over the phone,” the editor said. If it’s in the office, “we will need a photo of the interview; if it’s over the phone, we’ll have to record it. Either way, we need to show it was real,” not something made up by the cartel.

We won’t publish it right away, the editor added, so the cartel won’t think it can tell the newspaper what to print.

The interview ran three days later, in all editions, including Matamoros, where it mattered most to the cartel. But there was no byline, not even in the Reynosa edition. Instead, it read simply, El Mañana/Staff.
A photo shows a notice attributed to an organized crime gang that was left next to the decapitated body of Maria Elizabeth Macias, the 39-year-old chief editor of the newspaper Primera Hora who was found in Nuevo Laredo. The message was signed “ZZZZ,” normally associated with the Zetas drug gang. (Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

Social media steps up

Several years ago, shopkeepers, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, local government workers and students began to fill the void in local news with social-media coverage. It took the cartels a while to understand what was happening on anonymous Twitter accounts and Facebook pages.

Once they did, retribution followed. On Sept. 26, 2011, the decapitated body of a female blogger was left at the Christopher Columbus monument in Nuevo Laredo. Next to her corpse were two keyboards and a handwritten warning, signed “ZZZZ.”

But social-media crime reporting has only grown in the four years since. It includes real-time maps of shootout locations, slayings and kidnappings as well as endless cellphone videos of crimes in progress.

During the Post reporter’s visit in October, alerts and bulletins about news that went unreported by El Mañana were rife on social media:

Oct 17, 2:39 p.m. @MichaelNike8: Near the exit to San Fernando, tires burning to distract the authorities
Oct 21, 1:50 p.m. @SSPTAM: Avoid the area between Reynosa and Monterrey. Authorities are responding (to a situation)
  Nov. 3: @Codigo Rojo [Code Red]: Yesterday, federal agents captured 3 men and a female commander of Toro [the local cartel commander in Reynosa] and seized 3 new trucks and around 20 guns, including 5 or 6 guns covered in gold and diamonds; This photo shows what was taken out of just one of the trucks.

Also trending on Twitter the same week was the one-year anniversary of the killing of @Miut3.

@Miut3 was a prolific citizen crime reporter. She tweeted the location of shootouts, explosions, carjackings and the identities of disappeared people. On Oct. 15, 2014, her anonymous account was hacked. Soon afterward, she became unreachable.
A tweet from the account of Maria Del Rosario Fuentes Rubio seen in a screenshot, which has been modified by The Washington Post to protect the identity of other Twitter users and with respect to Rubio's family.
Her followers frantically refreshed their Twitter feeds trying to find her. The next morning, at 5:04 a.m., a tweet from her account appeared: “Friends and family, my real name is Maria Del Rosario Fuentes Rubio, I’m a doctor and today, my life has come to an end.”
Minutes later, two photos appeared on her account. One showed Fuentes Rubio in distress. “Close your accounts, don’t risk your families the way I did,” her account read. “I ask you all for forgiveness.”

The second photo showed what appeared to be her bloodied face and corpse on the ground. No one has been arrested.

An opening

In February, a few months after Fuentes Rubio was killed, the two factions of the Gulf cartel in northeastern Mexico went to war again. The chaos provided El Mañana with the kind of journalistic opening it hadn’t had in 15 years.

With the cartel preoccupied, El Mañana became the newspaper it might otherwise be had circumstances been different. The entire newsroom deployed to cover the battles. Dramatic photos, detailed articles and screaming headlines won Mexico’s attention.

Readers in Reynosa finally got the full story of what was happening around them:

Day One: “Border in Shock,” “Shoot-Outs and Roadblocks . . . ”
Day Two: “Border Under Siege: Marines Attacked, Three Armed Men Killed, Soldiers Wounded”
The cover of El Mañana newspaper. (El Mañana)
The cover of El Mañana newspaper. (El Mañana)

 “We were all excited in the newsroom,” said a longtime senior editor who shepherded the coverage. “It was an adrenaline rush.”

“No other newspaper in the state” provided such detailed coverage. “They were all afraid,” he said, nodding toward Deandar. “We have a courageous boss.”

This was such big news, Deandar said he thought at the time, that he wanted to share it even with readers in Matamoros despite the standing cartel news blackout there. To be cautious, there would be no bylines and no names of cartel members.

The cartels would not approve, cautioned Enrique Juarez, his Matamoros editor.

Just after midnight, the red printing press in Reynosa rolled out Day Three’s edition. “Nine Dead in Fighting: Third Day Siege in Urban Areas and Roads.” Delivery trucks dashed to their distribution hubs.

By 3 a.m., El Mañana employees discovered that the truck carrying the newspapers for Matamoros had vanished. Deandar rallied a posse; they found the vehicle at noon in an abandoned field, still full of newspapers. He ordered the papers be delivered to Matamoros, where they hit the streets an hour later.

Juarez, up in his second-floor office, got threatening phone calls right away.

At 4 p.m., as deadline loomed, someone called from the lobby asking him to come down. He found a knife and braced himself. Armed men burst in. One picked up a big jug of water and threw it at him, causing him to drop the knife.

“We’re going to break you!” one yelled, as they dragged him away. They stuffed him into a van, beat him about the head and back, and shoved him onto the pavement an hour or so later.

A story about Juarez’s abduction and a photo of him at his desk, with the assaulting water jug, ran on Day Four next to the headline, “30 Dead Already, Mayor Suffers Grenade Attack, US Consul Suspends Operations”

It did not appear in the Matamoros edition. Juarez and his family left the city. He no longer works in Matamoros
“If I had the opportunity to leave . . . ” His voice trails off.
Enrique Juarez, an editor who was kidnapped over a story the cartel did not like, is shown in the El Mañana office in Reynosa, Mexico, in October. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

 Rosario Carmona, a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow at the University of Maryland’s Phillip Merrill School of Journalism, where Priest holds the Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism; Alexander Quiñones, a graduate student there; and Post researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.


  1. This one report almost sounds like we should not be badmouthing too much or too often "the powers that be"...good choice...
    --we should remember that comandante guiermo gonzalez calderoni who blew open the collaboration of the mexican DFS with the CIA and their drug trafficking to the US got murdered by los zetas in Texas, when he was feeling so safe there...

    1. I can't figure out why the cartels give a shit what is printed. Surely they aren't worried about their public image. Who cares? Will bad press being more heat on them ? Killing innocent civilians for what they write brings more heat. I don't get it.

    2. 10:20 with more sophisticated bosses with A LOT MORE TO LOSE, LIKE US presidential opportunities...
      --secrecy is part of the drug trafficking operations to the US, with secrecy,the government can keep filling the prisons with mexicans, whitexicans, blacxicans, gangsta wannabee's and black gangsters because they ask for it...
      --The purity of the real owners of drug trafficking wants no mó staining...
      --And in mexico people has started to see they was blind, thinking that the biiig baaad narcs were the start and the end of mexico's problems, when it was the poolice, army and their federal government bosses, they needed secrecy and they shut off the news all over the nation...

  2. What an interesting usual DD.

  3. Too much $$$$ to be made by the cartels to go around to everybody, the newspaper makes less

    1. We are lucky to have the First and Second amendments r we be like Mexico

    2. 4:51 the whole sad unadulterated news, is the US is like mexico, and worse, the MSM collects a lot more money from suppressing the real news, and even more and more money for twisting the news into the twisted shit they are now...
      --Feeding lies, piss and popó to the public pays even better for journalism on the US...

  4. You want to see real scary control of the media? The US is the place to go!

    Why is the mass murder in Mexico ignored whilst we are drowning in 'information' on the Middle East? Answer: censorship!

    9/11 cover-up, the Iraq war or CIA sponsored drug trafficking (as Gary Webb tried to report on) are other glaring examples.

    1. The truth is that the liberal press in the US only values the votes of Mexican immigrants. As far as Mexican citizens are concerned, they could care less. That's why there is little coverage of the cartels in the US. Those Mexicans can't vote.

    2. You are confusing reality with conspiracy theories my friend.

    3. It's a fact jack.Have another sip of the Kool aid.

    4. Censorship blah blah blah... if the media thought a dancing chicken would attract viewers they would show it. They want whatever attracts viewers. I propose on the next Mexico independence day everyone wears black shirts all across the US to support Mexico. Or organize city marches in black shirts with the number of people that is the current murder rate.

    5. Or maybe someone puts black crosses on a piece of land or desert to show the total number of deaths for 2016, and have a monthly picture to show the "growth", which leads up to a independence day black shirt march. Unfortunately this is the kinds of things that gets the us media attention.

    6. 3:56am you're off the deep end...

    7. 1:16. Not a bad idea. But 2 problems. One is who out there will get off their duff and do it. Second problem (and it is a big one - how do we know the truth as the number of deaths.

    8. I bet someone here is brave enough. I was thinking it could be done at a state park somewhere so it has some protection and visibility of sorts. Right it would need a big way of showing "and more". :-). Also to raise funding or impact, invite victims families to donate and get their loved ones name written on a cross...

  5. newspaper chief linked to los cunis

  6. Yes that serves them just about right. Why don't you reason? Publishing sh*t abt us puts us in a bad light internationally. Big ups to the cartel actions against an irresponsible media.
    I personally beat the crap out of a journalist once. Twas sort of nice. They shoot their mouth off but when caught they cry for mercy like a bitch.

    1. Well if its true it should be published.Maybe you guys should think twice about your consequences before you act.If you stayed behind the scenes more like you used to well you wouldn't grab so many international headlines.Maybe stop the kidnappings and extortion and focus on drug trafficking and you wouldn't get a bad name.

    2. 8:44 kind of like you guys too I will say to that last sentence of yours.

    3. Canada could use with a little truth in journalism. Must we kow-tow the Washington Post? 8:44 makes a couple valid calls, but, beating on a journalist? For being a journalist, a dick or both?

  7. Yea, only the élite or people with money and a good poition in life really know whats going on. Even if your an average local
    Most people don't know much about where they live because the media, or local news focus on car accidents, weather but not curruption. We are just average Joe speculating, even the narcos have their own news paper. The U.S found a newspaper owened by cjng in jalisco lol cjng, ct, zetas, cds cartels also leave "mantas" misinforming locals saying they dont extort and they are the good guys.if you read borderland or have common sense you know all cartels extort in one way or onother. "Chapo lovers" will say cds is good for society but they are misinformed also lol.So with that said, it's imposible to get real information about cartels. Real spit

    I don't believe it but maybe it's worth posting. The government will probably say that they tracked down his son's giraffe this time...

  9. 3:56 Dear, on the US, WE are still badmouthing the US government on the internet at least, with relative impunity, anonymously, and we have not been caught...
    --MSM 'voluntarily' self censors on the US, england and the EU...
    --In mexico, anything you post will be tracked and you will be rubbed out, and the more readers you corrupt the more harsher you will be dealt with, but remember kiki camarena, khadaffy, ceausesscu, mussolini, noriega, el chayo, kike plancarte, or betrayed Guillermo Gonzalez Calderoni and the Guadalajara Cartel

    1. Calderoni was too brave (foolish) for his own good. Only 1 body guard and 2 German shepards. But Calderoni met his fate on north 10th McAllen in the daytime with bodyguard in car unharmed! Lived in same rich neighborhood as head of FBI McAllen but a Much larger house. I think bodyguard was "accidently" crushed while working on his car later probably had trouble finding work with a error like that on his resume. Coyote

  10. newspaper chief linked to los cunis

    1. Linked to EPN:

  11. Interesting question. Why does US media ignore the horror down in Mexico. One should really give this one some thought. Try asking NBC, CBS, ABC and the response is laughable. Even the politicians in the US have the biggest load of bullshit responses to the question. 50,000 + dead south of the border and hardly a peep on the evening news.

    1. Cause US media does not care about Mexico. Nobody real cares how the government of Mexico operates.

    2. The people have accepted the way Mexico is

    3. Not sure either 12:10. It's hard to believe we could possibly someday have a refugee crisis in our own backyard and media puts more attention to crisis across the world, about people who could care less about us. Very sad.

    4. Even if USA media reported on it 24 hours a day it's not going to do much good. Ultimately Mexico is going to have to solve their own problems...

    5. If the Mexican media is too chicken shit to report narco news why does it automatically become the US's job to pick up the slack? Opening the eyes of the guillable gringos by the US media will be counter productive to mexico's most valuable import...tourism. Let the US media tell the truth about the violence in Mexico and you will see tourism cut in half. It's a double edged sword if you ask me. Mexico has always been a bizarro world for its citizens and it won't change anytime soon.

    6. @3:37. You said a couple of things in your first sentence that I take offense to. First you call the editor of the newspaper "chicken shit" because he doesn't report narco news. He has been kidnapped, beaten and then released by the kidnappers (cartel) with a warning that if he published anything else they didn't like he and his entire family would be killed, he had already had 4 reporters kidnapped and murdered, had his offices bombed and shot up by automatic weapons and you say he is too chicken shit to report on narcos. You must be a very brave person and think journalist should be as brave as you.
      The second part of your first sentence about why is it US (or anyone else's job to pick up the slack is kind of a slap in the face of BB. Our mission and reason for being here is we think it is important to shine a light on the evil and inform the English speaking world about what is happening in Mexico. Are you saying we should just close up shop and go home?

    7. I'm sorry you take offense to my comment DD but you know as well I do that my first sentence is a legitimate question of right wing America. If EPN, the politicians, military and Mexican LE don't care about the safety of the journalist why should anyone else outside the country? I'm not a right winger but I too take offense to the expectations placed on my country by outsiders. We Americans do what we do and it is always scrutinized whether we do something or don't do it. If this journalist doesn't report narco news it's his chose but don't complain about it. It is what is nothing more nothing less. It's the world he lives in so he has to accept it. Whether you guys close up shop would not be up to me. I'm just a nobody but casual reader who enjoys your reading you work. I was alittle harsh with my criticism of the journalist I must admit and I apologize.

    8. DD quit while you're ahead. You're defending your choice to post this article, which the English speaking world already had the chance to read given the Washington Post's considerable demographic. Since, Borderland Beat doesn't have a publishing editor per say, defending BB falls to its readership not contributors. I'll tell you something else for free. Journalists' and reporters' jobs aren't the same. Repoters are some what like doctors i.e. emotional detachment from fact required. The journalist writes from perspective overview on society's goings on. It is not the journalist responsibility to offer the solutions to society's problems anymore than it is the trained reporter's. A talented reporter doesn't have to have any background in the subjects he or she covers. A journalist does. In Mexico, the news business is dangerous, this is hardly unique.

    9. @8:09. I don't think that the story, nor myself, attempted to offer any solutions to society's problems, only to make society aware of the problems.

    10. Reporting is not to be designed by any cocksucker to fit any tight panties hard ass, but corruption in reporting or not reporting never fails to show...
      The media on the US has a responsibility to find d out the consequences of many organizations and individuals including the US government selling or "donating" weapons to the government or the criminals, and making it legal without regard for the you really want to see all the mexican refugees that can go to the US because of your business ambassadors and soldiers of fortune and politicians greed? It is not up toe, or you, but the press could need to say in some near future, "I told you", before the deluge...
      --report posters are not divine elite, by all means, be attacked, and defend yourselves if you can, after all you do not get paid, except when accused and if it is true, better ot to say anything more...

    11. 8:09pm you lost the argument.

    12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. In my 78 years of life the Mexican Government always controlled the news. Probably happens in the US also.

  13. when el mañana receive money they have to post different stories if u know what i mean

  14. Sounds harsh. BUT,Either grow some balls and carry your own protection or get out of the biz and move! No hope in Mx.Do you want to support the cartel with lies? BB steps up.Be careful... corrupt government,police, judges. Either stand as one or die.

  15. 9:24 AM. Right and appears to be the case in US. Even the well educated are taken aback by US legal bribery, e.g. campaign funding. Plus official misconduct all over every level of government. Anyone over 40 will remember the good ole days and being USA proud.

    A bit off topic, but, would like to see more articles about what looks like US partnering after the fact with traffickers. Notice deals being made that are unconscionable $1 billion + forfeitures for years of top level trafficking with a 10 year sentence. Insane when his cell neighbor could be in for 80 years for selling his products!

    US makes billions on forfeitures. Where does money go--cancer research. No. For more tools of war.

  16. Whats funny is how everyone wants to run back in blame USA for all of Mexico mistakes learn to take blame for your own government being the fuck up it is . we have enough problems to deal with our shitty ass president

    1. It's funny, I guess I missed that in the story. Can you quote it for me?

  17. Very nice article, totally what I was looking for.


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