The other Mexico story
Over the years, I've met and followed the work of Mexican journalists covering the cartels. They are often people who started their own magazines or blogs. They are brave and will write a lot that the cartels do not want the world to hear about.
Yesterday, we learned of another casualty in Mexico:
A veteran journalist who had chronicled the bloody conflicts among rival drug cartels in his home state, Sinaloa, and the culture of violence they inflicted on the broader society, was killed by gunmen on Monday near the newspaper that he had co-founded, the authorities said.
The journalist, Javier Valdez Cárdenas, 50, was in his car when he was intercepted by the killers, according to Ríodoce, a weekly he founded with Ismael Bojórquez in the city of Culiacán in 2003.
At least 104 journalists have been murdered in Mexico since 2000, while 25 others have disappeared, according to the press freedom organization Article 19.
The death of Mr. Valdez, who had shared prizes from Columbia University and the Committee to Protect Journalists, raises pressure on the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto to address the killings more forcefully.
Yes, it would be nice if the Peña-Nieto administration would address the killings, but what can he really do?
Journalists like Valdez Cárdenas are out in the battle zone daily. They are the ones who dig up the stories about killings, corruption, and everything else that makes up this bloody story south of the border. They usually do their work without bodyguards or expose their families to torture and late-night threatening phone calls.
So the killing goes on south of the border.
The L.A. Times ran a story two months ago about the massacre south of the border:
Last year, there were 20,792 homicides in Mexico – a 22% increase over 2015, and a 35% jump over 2014.
The Mexican government always reminds us that the violence is not always cartel-related, but experts say that half of it probably is. They also always say that tourist sectors are generally free of violence, and that's true of the Caribbean resorts.
Nevertheless, Mexico is not the country I recall living in some years ago.