Too many dead journalists in Mexico

We just heard about Central American migrants killed in another train bound for the north.   At least, 5 are dead and 18 injured.  We hear about these tragedies because the dead are people trying to get into the US.

We are not hearing much about the journalists being targeted south of the border.  I would like to hear from US and Western journalists, too.

Let me thank The Dallas Morning News for bringing this to our attention:

"A commendable new report by Mexico's National Human Rights Commission documents a horrific increase in the number of killings, disappearances and threats against journalists over the past 13 years. The mounting danger for Mexican journalists coincides with growing turf battles between that country's drug cartels as they jockey for control of major export routes." 

The cartels have declared war on journalists, in much the same way that they've targeted policemen, public servants and even politicians. It's a campaign of intimidation hoping to kill policemen and bribe everybody else. 

The numbers are staggering: 

"The human rights report lists the state of Tamaulipas, on Texas' southern border, atop all other states in terms of violence against journalists. In Tamaulipas alone, 12 journalists have been killed since 2000. Two others have disappeared, and 10 others have been attacked in the past eight years. Nationwide, 85 journalists have been killed and 20 more have disappeared. Only 12 cases have resulted in convictions.   

On June 25 in San Antonio, hundreds of U.S. investigative journalists sat spellbound as Turati described her profession's dire situation. One Mexican reporter was strangled in her home. Another was killed as he took his daughter to school. One newsroom was attacked by gunfire three times. A hand grenade exploded in another. Cartel leaders dictated the stories that they required newspapers to publish. 

She recounted one story in which a reporter in Veracruz received word that he was on a hit list. A colleague asked how she could help. The reporter asked for a pistol. "A pistol? 'Yes,' he said, 'it isn't to kill them, it's to kill myself if they come for me. Because now they don't just kill you -- they torture you as well,'" Turati recounted.  

Citizen reporters have tried to fill the gap, posting YouTube videos and establishing websites such as Valor por Tamaulipas. But cartel leaders target them, too, and soon the silence returns."

We salute the journalists in Mexico who continue to do their work despite death threats.

We also remind Americans that the cartels are financed by our consumption of illegal drugs. We are financing the people who are targeting the Mexican journalists. 

It's time for Americans to realize that their consumption sends billions of dollars south of the border.  



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