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.
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.
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.