Mexican newspaper speaks up. El Diario de Juárez addresses ‘de facto authorities’

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What do you want from us?

 Dead journalist Mexico

The Ciudad Juárez branch of Mexican newspaper El Diario issued a strong message to the criminal drug lords who are in control of the city, putting aside the authorities who have been unable to provide safety to the citizens (and journalists among them).

 

Here are some of the highlights of the article published last Sunday:

 

What do you want from us?

 

People from the different organizations who are in dispute for the control of Ciudad Juárez (…):

 

Let it be known, we’re journalists, not mindreaders. Therefore, we want you to explain what do you want from us, what is that you want us to publish or stop publishing, so that we can know what to expect.

 

You are, at the moment, the de facto authorities in this city, because the powers that be have not been able to stop our partners from falling, even though we have repeatedly asked them to do so.

 

That’s why, in light of this undeniable reality, we address to you to make such question, because the last thing we want is another of our colleagues to be the victim of your shootings.

 

(…)

 

We don’t want dead people anymore. We don’t want any more wounded, we don’t want intimidation either. It is impossible to continue to do our work under these circumstances. Tell us then, what do you expect from us as media.

 

(…)

 

Even at war there are rules. In any confrontation there are protocols and guarantees from the parties in conflict, in order to protect the journalists providing coverage.

 

Here you can read the complete article (in Spanish).  

British newspaper The Guardian has marked this message as a blunt admission of Juárez’s lawlessness[1]. Meanwhile, The New York Times questions whether anyone there will dare to continue documenting the turmoil in Ciudad Juárez, a smuggling crossroads across from El Paso that is battled over by at least two major criminal organizations[2].

 

Ciudad Juárez -in spite of a relatively small population- accounts for a large amount of the 28,000 killed in Mexico since President Felipe Calderón declared war on the drug cartels in 2006.

 

Around 30 media workers have disappeared or been killed, some of them tortured and mutilated, making Mexico one of the world’s most dangerous places for reporters. The Guardian.

By reading articles like this one, and many other stories about intimidation, kidnapping and death, is how we come to understand why journalism in Mexico is a dangerous business.

Stop killing journalists

September 20th, 2010.

 

TRC

©


[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/20/mexican-newspaper-drugs-staff-murdered

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/world/americas/21mexico.html?_r=2&hpw

 

 

 

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