Mexican drug cartels in control
If Mexican drug cartels dictate media coverage in Nuevo Laredo, as this story says, then government has lost control and the cartels have won. Cartels are identifiable. Their members can be accounted for. They are a known target and can be eliminated by effective police and military action.
To gain control, the Mexican government must be more effective, not only at wiping out cartels, but at addressing poverty as the primary cause of Mexican massive crime problems. Don’t export it to the USA. We don’t want it.
“In Mexico's Nuevo Laredo, drug cartels dictate media coverage
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 2, 2010
NUEVO LAREDO, MEXICO -- Two weeks ago, Mexican soldiers clashed here with drug cartel gangsters in running gun battles that lasted five hours. The outlaws hijacked vehicles, including a bus, for use as barricades and battering rams. Terrified residents scrambled for safety. At least a dozen people were killed, including bystanders. Children were wounded in the crossfire.
Not a single word about it appeared in the local news media.
Nuevo Laredo has three television news channels, four daily newspapers and at least five radio stations that broadcast news, but every outlet ignored the biggest story of the year. Nuevo Laredo is not an isolated village but the busiest city along the U.S.-Mexico border, a vital U.S. trade partner with a population of 360,000, professional sports teams, universities and an international airport.
Fearing for their lives and the safety of their families, journalists are adhering to a near-complete news blackout, under strict orders of drug smuggling organizations and their enforcers, who dictate -- via daily telephone calls, e-mails and news releases -- what can and cannot be printed or aired.
"We are under their complete control," said a veteran reporter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Editors and managers of news organizations who agreed to speak with The Washington Post insisted that the interviews take place away from their offices, at back tables in empty bars. "The cartels have eyes and ears inside our company," one editor said.
On Friday night, assailants tossed a grenade at the front door of the Televisa affiliate in Nuevo Laredo. The blast shattered windows but caused no injuries. The television station did not report on the attack, and neither did its competitors.
In the 400-mile arc along the South Texas border, millions of Mexicans live without news of the spectacular violence swirling around them.
"The chaos, the disintegration we are seeing in the Mexican media as the drug war continues is without precedent," said Rosental Alves, director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin.”