A stunning front page editorial appeared in Northern Mexico’s largest newspaper El Diario; they conceded the country’s most violent city, Ciudad Juarez, is now controlled by the narco-drug cartels.
The front page editorial came after the murder of one of their reporters- another cameraman was also seriously injured after cartels open fired on the journalists in response to news coverage about the brutality and violence that continues to escalate under Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon.
“Lords of the different organizations that are fighting the square of Ciudad Juarez,” is how the editorial begins. “You are, at present, the de facto authorities in this city because the controls have been instituted.”
The paper clearly states they do not want anymore employees to die at the hands of the cartel assassins and said journalists can no longer live with the daily narco intimidation.
Simply put, El Diario will no longer cover the cartel violence because police can no longer provide security or protection for journalists.
“The vacuum of power in Chihuahua in the midst of an environment in which there is no sufficient guarantees for citizens to develop their lives…activities, journalism has become one of the most dangerous professions,” the editorial column reads.
The newspaper also contends that even in war there are rules, there are protocols or guarantees for the warring sides. In Juarez the streets are the battlefield and the cartels are under no obligation to honor the integrity of the media.
The editor goes on and pleads with the cartel leaders, “I reiterate, gentlemen of the various drug trafficking organizations, explain to us what you want us to stop saying (so we can protect) the lives of our comrades.”
Then El Diario slams President Calderon for his administrations lack of protection for members of the media and residents in Mexico.
“In the case of the murders (of journalists) and I am protected by my status as a candidate, I think to the extent that an active community service and (news organizations) have dangerous (job) there must be mechanisms to protect them. A journalist who has been threatened or conduct an investigation against organized crime should have special protection mechanisms,” Calderon said when he was running for office.
The protection for members of the media is a campaign promise that was never honored.
In this context, Mexican journalists have battled with the organized crime syndicates and their effort to inform citizens about the dangers, intimidation and fear tactics used by the cartels. As a result employees have been harassed and the newspaper has no other choice but to give in to the cartels' demands and stop covering the fact that Mexico is dangerously close to becoming a narco-state.
El Diario says even their repeated requests for protection from the government went unnoticed. Therefore the newspaper can no longer responsibly cover any drug cartel violence.
“The state is the protector of the rights of citizens, and thus, of the media, but they have been absent during the years of militancy, even when you pretended to do so through a range of operations in practice failures have been noticeable,” the story concedes.
Last Friday, El Diario photojournalist Luis Carlos Santiago Orozco was murdered on his lunch break. And the El Diario publishers want a simple question answered, “Who do we call justice?”
A few weeks ago U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was brandished by the Obama Administration for declaring that the people of Mexico are facing a drug cartel insurgency. While the Obama Administration may not agree with the Secretary, the people of Mexico concur with Mrs. Clinton assessment and says Mexico is losing the battle.
They believe Mexico is “obligated to protect citizens lost in fruitless disquisitions on whether Mexico is equal to or worse than Colombia 20 years ago. The statement issued by Hillary Clinton, was backed by media.”
El Diario also slams President Calderon for making false pronouncements. “The president pontificates on peace in the country as if it were real, to send a letter to each of the families in the nation in which, among other things, and rhetorically, stresses the white color of the national flag is ‘the peace we have won.’ That statement is a mockery of Juarenses who drown in a bath of blood.”
As if the murders, assaults and intimidation tactics of the media were not enough, Mexico’s Secretary of Education and Culture of State Government, Guadalupe Chacón Monárrez, declared that news organizations are guilty of psychological terrorism that exists in the Juarez.
Hernán Ortiz, an anthropologist and researcher at the UACJ, agrees, “Chacon Monárrez should not blame the media of terrorism…, but the incompetence shown by governments,”according to El Diario.
The Education minister continued to blast news agencies and said, “I want to tell the media, with all respect, that we become partners in this, because the psychological terrorism is achieved through communication.”
Understandably El Diario was shaken by these comments. “What do you mean by this? What, stop publishing? Or only disclose ‘good’ or ‘positive’ news?”
When a country is no longer in the hands of the people, but run nefariously by mafia-drug thugs, the adhesion to the rule of law becomes blurred and deciphering who are victims and who are executioners are even more difficult. Citizens of Mexico no longer know who to trust and now fear rules the day. This is exactly what the narco traffickers want. They are counting on the government’s collapse to ensure billions of dollars in profits from drugs, extortion, kidnapping and human trafficking continue flowing into their bank accounts.
Mexico’s future now lies squarely on the government’s ability to either suppress or work with the drug cartels to quell the violence, if they do not move quickly to protect their citizens and avalanche of illegal aliens will soon pour across the southern border and become America’s problem.
Time is not on Mexico’s side, yet it is only time that will define Mexico’s future.
To read entire El Diario editorial; http://www.diario.com.mx/notas.php?f=2010/09/18&id=6b124801376ce134c7d6ce2c7fb8fe2
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