Monday, September 20, 2010

Mexican newspaper seeks “truce” with drug gangs

Last week we briefly mentioned how the International Press Institute deemed Mexico the world’s most dangerous country for journalists. “In the first eight months of 2010, 52 journalists were killed because of their work…and it's 52 too many,” said the interim director of the media watchdog group in her grim assessment. It should not come as a surprise then that the heads of the biggest newspaper in one of Mexico’s most violent cities have tried to take a unique precaution.

An editorial published in Sunday’s edition of El Diario de (Ciudad) Juarez appealed to the area’s drug cartels in the name of security for their journalists. "We ask you to explain what you want from us, what we should try to publish or not publish, so we know what to expect,” said the editorial which was published days after gunmen killed an El Diario photographer.

Aside from seeking a “truce” with the criminals, the editorial also blasted Mexican president Felipe Calderon for his “inadequate strategy” against the drug gangs as well as U.S. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton:
The main obligation to protect the citizenry is lost in sterile discussions on whether Mexico is equal or worse than Colombia twenty years ago; a statement issued by…Clinton and backed by press as serious as the Washington Post. It is also lost…in the onerous expenditure used to celebrate the Bicentennial, resources that would have been better spent on reinforcing the pale security forces.
Though the editorial emphasized that it would “not surrender” a senior member with the Committee to Protect Journalists expressed disappointment with El Diario. "The fact that they're giving up is really bad. It's an indication that the situation is out of control," said Carlos Lauria to the AP.

Image- BBC News
Online Sources- El Diario de Juarez, The Latin Americanist, Sify, AFP, AP, New York Daily News

1 comment:

Tambopaxi said...

Well, of course, the situation's out of control. In large part (oh, say, 90+%, to give it a some whacko number) it's out of Mexico's control because of the USG's illogical and hypocritical refusal to do anything about changing its drug use policies, and its even worse refusal - if that's possible - to do anything about, or even acknowledge that fact that lax American gun control laws (almost an oxymoron) are helping arm the attack against Mexico.

Sorry about the long, run-on sentence, but al final de cuentas, America and its refusal to face up to drug and gun control problems IT has are the root problem of Mexico's woes. Sending up a white flag by the Mexican press is very alarming, but given the dire state of affairs down there, it's not surprising, and even worse, it's indicative of the fact that some insitutional elements of Mexico's democracy are surrendering to the enemy.

I've said if before, I'll say it again: 1) All drugs need to be legalized and controlled, like liquor, tobacco, etc., under regulatory frameworks. 2) The U.S. needs to make a more serious effort to enforce its own gun control laws, weak though they are...