posts about or somewhat related to ‘drug wars’

There are parts of the country where criminal groups decide what gets published and what doesn’t.

Jose Carreno, Ibero-American University. Al Jazeera, Mexico media office torched in Monterrey.

The News: A branch office for El Norte was attacked Sunday by armed men who doused the building with gasoline before setting it on fire. This is the third attack on a Mexican media outlet in the last month.

Background: Mexico is the world’s third most dangerous place to be a journalist, according to Reporters Without Borders. You can see some of what’s been happening by viewing our Mexico Tag.

Mexican drug cartels’ spreading influence
Via National Post:

Far from being a south-of-the-U.S.-Mexico-border problem alone, at least 1,000 U.S. cities reported the presence of at least one of four Mexican cartels in 2010. Meanwhile, south of the border, the machinery of drug creation and facilitation grinds away, spitting out addicts in the U.S. and more than 50,000 dead bodies in Mexico since 2006. The cartels are looking to spread their tentacles wider.

If you’re not following National Post, definitely do so. They. Are. Awesome.
Image: Detail from Invasion of the Drug Cartels, via National Post.

Mexican drug cartels’ spreading influence

Via National Post:

Far from being a south-of-the-U.S.-Mexico-border problem alone, at least 1,000 U.S. cities reported the presence of at least one of four Mexican cartels in 2010. Meanwhile, south of the border, the machinery of drug creation and facilitation grinds away, spitting out addicts in the U.S. and more than 50,000 dead bodies in Mexico since 2006. The cartels are looking to spread their tentacles wider.

If you’re not following National Post, definitely do so. They. Are. Awesome.

Image: Detail from Invasion of the Drug Cartels, via National Post.

Another Mexican Journalist Killed
Via the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas:

Another journalist was killed in Veracruz, México; his body was found inside of plastic bags in the early morning of Thursday, June 14, in the city of Xalapa, reported the Associated Process and the weekly Proceso. The search started the night before after the journalist was kidnapped while leaving his office, according to Reuters. It is believed that the journalist was probably a victim of organized crime, reported the newspaper El Economista.
The killing of journalist Víctor Báez Chino, founder of the news site Reporterospoliciacos.com and police reporter for more than 25 years, makes nine journalists killed since June 2011 in Veracruz, considered by Reporters Without Borders as one of the 10 most dangerous places in the world to practice journalism.
According to the news agency EFE, only a few days back, the journalist told the coordinator of Social Communication of Veracruz, Gina Domínguez, that no one could and should live in fear. "Let’s not let them make fear a way of living for us,"  said Baéz. At a press conference, Domínguez said the killing of the journalist “insults the journalistic profession and also tries to intimidate society and retract the government’s decision to fight crime,” reported the news outlet InfoBAE.com.

Resources that make us sad: A Knight Center map of attacks against against Mexican journalists.
Image: Twitter post by On the Media’s Brook Gladstone.

Another Mexican Journalist Killed

Via the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas:

Another journalist was killed in Veracruz, México; his body was found inside of plastic bags in the early morning of Thursday, June 14, in the city of Xalapa, reported the Associated Process and the weekly Proceso. The search started the night before after the journalist was kidnapped while leaving his office, according to Reuters. It is believed that the journalist was probably a victim of organized crime, reported the newspaper El Economista.

The killing of journalist Víctor Báez Chino, founder of the news site Reporterospoliciacos.com and police reporter for more than 25 years, makes nine journalists killed since June 2011 in Veracruz, considered by Reporters Without Borders as one of the 10 most dangerous places in the world to practice journalism.

According to the news agency EFE, only a few days back, the journalist told the coordinator of Social Communication of Veracruz, Gina Domínguez, that no one could and should live in fear. "Let’s not let them make fear a way of living for us," said Baéz. At a press conference, Domínguez said the killing of the journalist “insults the journalistic profession and also tries to intimidate society and retract the government’s decision to fight crime,” reported the news outlet InfoBAE.com.

Resources that make us sad: A Knight Center map of attacks against against Mexican journalists.

Image: Twitter post by On the Media’s Brook Gladstone.

humanrightswatch:

REPORTERO is one of the many amazing films being shown at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival this year.

The film follows veteran reporter Sergio Haro and his colleagues at Zeta, a Tijuana, Mexico-based weekly, as they dauntingly ply their trade in what has become one of the most deadly places in the world to be a journalist.

Since the paper’s founding in 1980, two of the paper’s editors have been murdered and the founder viciously attacked. Despite the attacks, the paper has continued its singular brand of aggressive investigative reporting, frequently tackling dangerous subjects that other publications avoid, such as cartels’ infiltration of political circles and security forces.

Human Rights Watch has documented an alarming rise in attacks and threats against journalists and human rights defenders in the context of Mexico’s “war on drugs,” virtually none of which are adequately investigated. Human Rights Watch’s most recent report on Mexico—Neither Rights Nor Security—documents killings, disappearances, and torture committed by security forces in five of the Mexican states most-affected by drug-related violence, including Baja California, where Zeta is published. Several of the cases of torture documented by Human Rights Watch in Tijuana were covered in the pages of Zeta.

FJP: If you’re in New York, the Human Rights Watch film festival runs from June 14 to June 28. Information about this and other films is here

More Journalists Murdered In Mexico
Via the Los Angeles Times:

MEXICO CITY — Two missing news photographers were found dead Thursday in southeastern Mexico, officials said, marking a grim week for journalists in the violence-plagued state of Veracruz after the weekend killing of a Mexican magazine correspondent.
The photographers, identified as Gabriel Huge and Guillermo Luna, were found dismembered and bearing signs of torture in a housing complex in Boca del Rio, a suburb of the port city of Veracruz.
Two other bodies found in the same place have not been identified, state spokeswoman Sandra Garcia said. But some Mexican news reports said one of the other victims was a journalist who worked for a newspaper called Diario AZ…
…The deaths come less than a week after correspondent Regina Martinez was found strangled and beaten to death in Xalapa, the state capital, where she lived and covered organized crime and corruption for  the Proceso newsweekly magazine.

More Journalists Murdered In Mexico

Via the Los Angeles Times:

MEXICO CITY — Two missing news photographers were found dead Thursday in southeastern Mexico, officials said, marking a grim week for journalists in the violence-plagued state of Veracruz after the weekend killing of a Mexican magazine correspondent.

The photographers, identified as Gabriel Huge and Guillermo Luna, were found dismembered and bearing signs of torture in a housing complex in Boca del Rio, a suburb of the port city of Veracruz.

Two other bodies found in the same place have not been identified, state spokeswoman Sandra Garcia said. But some Mexican news reports said one of the other victims was a journalist who worked for a newspaper called Diario AZ…

…The deaths come less than a week after correspondent Regina Martinez was found strangled and beaten to death in Xalapa, the state capital, where she lived and covered organized crime and corruption for  the Proceso newsweekly magazine.

Mexico Proposes Elevating Journalist Murders to Federal Crime
Via the Committee to Protect Journalists:

With near impunity in the murders of journalists a persistent reason for the terror and self-censorship among Mexican news organizations, legislators say the national Senate is on the verge of passing a constitutional amendment that would allow federal authorities to take over cases of crimes against freedom of expression. Passage would mean that the typically less corrupt and more effective federal police and prosecutors would move aside state authorities to tackle cases of murdered journalists or those living under threat.
Since 2006, more than 40 journalists have died or disappeared in Mexico, according to CPJ research. Due to a mixture of negligence and pervasive corruption among law enforcement officials, particularly at the state level, crimes against the Mexican press are almost entirely unsolved. The failure to investigate abuses has encouraged further crimes, forcing journalists to steer clear of sensitive topics such as violence, corruption and narco-trafficking. The result is that citizens have been stripped of their right to vital information.

Image: Poster used for a 2008 Knight Cabot conference on Journalism in Mexico.

Mexico Proposes Elevating Journalist Murders to Federal Crime

Via the Committee to Protect Journalists:

With near impunity in the murders of journalists a persistent reason for the terror and self-censorship among Mexican news organizations, legislators say the national Senate is on the verge of passing a constitutional amendment that would allow federal authorities to take over cases of crimes against freedom of expression. Passage would mean that the typically less corrupt and more effective federal police and prosecutors would move aside state authorities to tackle cases of murdered journalists or those living under threat.

Since 2006, more than 40 journalists have died or disappeared in Mexico, according to CPJ research. Due to a mixture of negligence and pervasive corruption among law enforcement officials, particularly at the state level, crimes against the Mexican press are almost entirely unsolved. The failure to investigate abuses has encouraged further crimes, forcing journalists to steer clear of sensitive topics such as violence, corruption and narco-trafficking. The result is that citizens have been stripped of their right to vital information.

Image: Poster used for a 2008 Knight Cabot conference on Journalism in Mexico.

This happened to me for not understanding that I shouldn’t report on the social networks.

A note left with the beheaded body of a Mexican blogger in Nuevo Laredo along the Texas-Mexican border*. As we’ve written before, traditional newsrooms, bloggers, and social media commentators have been targeted by the drug cartels for reporting on their activity.

Via The Houston Chronicle:

The victim, identified on social networking sites only by his nickname - Rascatripas or Belly Scratcher - reportedly helped moderate a site called En Vivo that posted news of shootouts and other activities of the Zetas, the narcotics and extortion gang that all but controls the city.

The beheaded body of another blogger, 39-year-old Elizabeth Macias, who contributed to the blog, was found in the same location in late September.

A young man and a woman were hung from a highway overpass earlier that same month. A sign left with their bodies said they too had been killed for their social media activity…

…With mainstream newspapers and broadcasters terrorized by the criminal gangs, whose violence has killed upward of 50,000 people across Mexico in five years, social media networks have become key information sources in many towns and cities.

A senior editor at El Mañana, Nuevo Laredo’s largest newspaper, was knifed to death after leaving work in 2004. Gunmen attacked the newspaper’s offices in 2006, crippling a journalist. The newspaper since has dramatically scaled back its reporting of the violence, as have other news organizations.

* Correction: We originally wrote that Nuevo Laredo was a neighborhood in Mexico City. Thank you wiredthoughts for pointing out our error.

Mexican Drug Wars →

Via the Guardian:

The Mexican government has released a database it says covers all murders presumed to have a link to the country’s drug wars in which at least seven different cartels are fighting each other and federal forces deployed in a massive offensive against them launched in December 2006.

The number of deaths has risen rapidly since then to total 34,612 up until the end of 2010, by far the most violent year so far with 15,273 people killed.

The Guardian created some interactives from the dataset, and is releasing the spreadsheet to the public to see what hackers can do.