The drug requires journalists to censor North
August 9th 2012 · 1 Comment
MEXICO CITY-The journalists of northern Mexico have changed the way they work, improvising measures of “safety” and organizing collective coverage.
When it comes to issues related to organized crime, they say, no longer matters who first published the note, the important thing is to protect, and therefore remain in constant communication, where are advising and coordinating coverage altogether.
“Investigative journalism was outlawed in this field, unless you want to endanger the life,” said one of these journalists.
He explained that the notes are limited to the description of the facts, not to include anonymous official versions help you know if there are rivalries between criminal groups and the possible cause of violence.
“Self-censorship is the main protection that we journalists of hot spots,” he said.
Reporters who have increased their security measures after repeatedly groups like Los Zetas returned to pick up their members killed in clashes with rival groups.
For example, reporters covering acts of violence in Monterrey, the capital of the industrial state of Nuevo Leon in Mexico, have virtually stopped going out to rural areas of the state at night.
If it is strictly necessary, move in convoys led by vehicles with logos of network television.
Journalists report that found with groups of gunmen even though the crime scenes and are guarded by local police and state prosecutor’s office officials.
One such case occurred in late 2010 in the town of Guadalupe, conurbation to the capital of Nuevo Leon, after the killing of two suspected members of Los Zetas. They tell that suddenly a group of vehicles with armed men arrived, ministerial staff and paramedics ran away from the bodies, which were picked up by armed men.
Told reporters that after threatening them, the men removed a video camera equipment to transmit live to a television cameraman. He also took a professional camera to another reporter before fleeing.
The equipment was returned several days later anonymously, to a meeting place for journalists.
Because of this, the journalists agreed not to go to places that were only protected by ministerial agents, state or municipal police. Now they hope the presence of the Army or Navy before coming to the place.
Tamaulipas, neighboring state, is one of three more deaths attributed by authorities to the rivalry between organized crime groups and only two of its municipalities: San Fernando and Nuevo Laredo, account for 39% of 1.108 deaths documented in the entity during the first months of 2011.
Tamaulipas journalists told local newspapers that have more than two years of not posting anything on matters related to organized crime because of threats received by drug gangs.
In fact, the newspaper El Mañana on July 10 reported that “shall not, by the time required to publish any information derived from the violent disputes and tear on our city and other regions of the country.” The same occurs in Coahuila, said one of the reporters interviewed.
Violence and insecurity prevailing in the region forced three national media companies, a television and an international agency to buy bulletproof vests for their reporters, according to witnesses themselves.
The Inter American Press Association has asked the Mexican government to “activate the new legal mechanisms for research and protection” to the federal level to defend press freedom.
Attacks on media
Half a dozen newspapers in the north of the country have been attacked with explosives and heavy weapons by members of drug cartels in the last eight months.
Major newspapers in the region as the North of Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo’s El Mañana were attacked with grenades on 10 July, the first two occasions the same day.
In March, the diairo Express Ciudad Victoria, capital of the border state of Tamaulipas, was attacked with a “car bomb” but until now local authorities have been reports about the reason for the attack or the suspects.
The Century of Torreon, Coahuila, recorded in November 2011 a fire at a car and shooting caliber AK47 assault rifles, while the facade of the weekly Zero Hour in Tamaulipas was hit by gunshot fire, on 7 May.
Facilities publishing group El Norte, which forms part of the Reform Party, have already suffered six attacks. The most recent occurred on Sunday July 29 when a pair of armed men set fire to fuel another suburban edition of the same newspaper.
Reporters Without Borders found that the attacks intended to intimidate and subdue the media, “is a situation that has become common in Mexico,” said Balbina Flores CNNMéxico spokesman.
The body, with subsidiaries on five continents, has registered more than 35 attacks on media installations Mexican 2007 to the present date.
Flores said that the bombings of the northeast to the media trying to “subdue” the journalists not to report on the activities of organized crime.
The representative of Reporters Without Borders also said that in some cases the attacks seek to “draw attention”.
“For two years, Coahuila and Tamaulipas are a major concern for Reporters Without Borders, the insecurity in which journalism is exercised,” said Flores.
The director of El Norte, Alejandro Junco de la Vega Gonzalez told CNNMéxico after the first attack on July 29 that it considers threats to information must be constantly published.
“In general terms the attacks are related to things published. Attention we put on the actions of organized crime,” he said in an interview.
“Now there are organizations that organized crime no longer have to do with drug trafficking, but with security issues.”
Since March 2010, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas recorded an unusual violence because of the dispute over the region by the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, former allies who broke their alliance, according to federal reports.
In 2011 the rivalry between these two posters in this region caused around 4 000 violent murders, according to statistics from the Attorney General’s Office.
In the case of attack on journalists in Mexico, according to official figures since 2000, 82 journalists have been killed, 16 have disappeared and there have been 28 attacks against the media. Of the crimes against journalists and media the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has indicated that 71% of them remain unpunished, 19% have been investigated and only 7% resulted in a conviction.
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