The true godfathers of ‘Narcoland’

November 7, 2013

m16 gun closeupCNN, 11/06/2013

Since December 2010, I have lived with death threats because I have documented and revealed corruption at the highest levels in the Mexican government. My family has been attacked, I have to live with bodyguards and some of my sources have been killed or are in jail.

But my case is just one of many. A large number of journalists and human rights activists — as well as those who denounce corruption in Mexico — receive similar threats or have been killed. And the biggest danger is not in fact the drug cartels, but rather the government and business officials that work for them and fear exposure.

Read more…

In Mexico, tweeting about the drug war to fill the void of traditional media

March 18, 2013

Twitter_256x256Nieman Journalism Lab, 3/15/2013

A study on social media use in Mexico found that Twitter users are taking up the role of informal correspondents on the sidelines of the country’s ongoing drug war. In cities like Monterrey, Veracruz, and Saltillo, Twitter users are spreading the word on shootings, arrests, and clashes between the cartels and police. And, researchers say, they’ve developed a kind of media-esque ecosystem that values traits like sourcing and attribution.

This is far from the first time conflict and citizen media have risen hand in hand, a pattern repeated in countries like Egypt and Syria, among others. That’s because there’s a common set of circumstances in many of these situations: “For many Mexicans, social media has become a fluid and participatory information platform that augments and often replaces traditional news media and governmental institutions,” the study says.

Read more…

Mexican Journalist Lydia Cacho Receives Prestigious French Award

March 13, 2013

journalismLatin American Herald Tribune, 3/13/2013

The French government named Mexican journalist and activist Lydia Cacho a Knight of the Legion of Honor for her work on behalf of children’s and women’s rights, and for her contribution to freedom of expression.

The honor was awarded Friday on the occasion of International Women’s Day by the French ambassador to Mexico, Elisabeth Beton Delegue, during a ceremony at the diplomat’s residence in the Mexican capital.

Read more…

Manning is found guilty for having leaked U.S. documents (Spanish)

February 28, 2013

Wikileaks_-logoMilenio, 2/28/2013

El soldado Bradley Manning se declaró hoy culpable de filtrar documentos clasificados a una tercera parte no autorizada, pero no de ayuda al enemigo, la acusación más grave a la que se enfrenta.

El acusado de la mayor filtración de documentos secretos de la historia estadunidense a WikiLeaks reconoció a través de su abogado civil, David Cooombs, haber poseído y transmitido a personas no autorizadas información clasificada.

Read more…

‘War Correspondents’ In Mexico Address Mainstream Media Shortcomings, Use Twitter To Spread Information

February 25, 2013

Twitter on phone by Flikr user stevegarfieldTechCrunch, 2/22/2013

In Mexico’s drug-war-torn cities, a small number of Twitter users affected by narco violence are acting as war correspondents to the masses, providing a public-safety alert system of sorts, according to a recent research paper from Microsoft, called “The New War Correspondents: The Rise of Civic Media Curation in Urban Warfare.”

These “curators,” tweeting with hashtags like #mtyfollow, #reynosafolllow, #saltillo and #verfollow, produce an inordinately high number of tweets compared to other users, informing people about recent violence, clashes and other news in regions where traditional news outlets have engaged in self-imposed blackouts to avoid narco violence.

Read more…

Safety of journalists draws international mission to Mexico

February 19, 2013

journalismWAN-IFRA, 2/18/2013

Mexican government measures to ensure greater safety of journalists, along with strategies adopted by media and journalists to continue reporting from highly dangerous parts of the country were examined last week by a delegation from the International Press Institute (IPI) and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

The delegation met with a wide variety of interested actors including federal, state, and intergovernmental officials; journalists and publishers; foreign diplomats and representatives of civil society groups in Mexico City. The delegation, which visited Mexico from 10-13 February, also looked into other issues challenging independent media reporting, such as media dependence on government advertising and concentration of ownership in the broadcasting sector.

Read more…


“Reportero” available on PBS’s website until Feb. 6, 2013

January 10, 2013

filmThe documentary film “Reportero” will be available for streaming on PBS’s website until February 6, 2013.

According to PBS: “The film follows a veteran reporter and his colleagues at Zeta, a Tijuana-based independent newsweekly, as they stubbornly ply their trade in one of the deadliest places in the world for members of the media. In Mexico, more than 50 journalists have been slain or have vanished since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderón came to power and launched a government offensive against the country’s powerful drug cartels and organized crime. As the drug war intensifies and the risks to journalists become greater, will the free press be silenced?”

The film is available at this link.

Where words are ‘rags to cover corpses’

February 5, 2012

John Ralston Saul, a distinguished Canadian author and current president of PEN International, has published in the Toronto Globe and Mail a highly interesting op-ed reporting on a distinguished gathering in Mexico City:

The Globe and Mail, 2/3/2012

Mexico is a country in which the sophistication of the language, the complexity of the system and the harsh reality of violence make it difficult to know what progress looks like. They also have to deal with the effects of drug use, organized crime and arms trafficking elsewhere in North America.

What we know is this: The violence must stop, key laws must be passed quickly, the special prosecutor and other justice officials need real powers and real budgets and real support systems. After that, people can be judged on whether they are doing their jobs. When it comes to killing journalists, there is almost perfect impunity. People need to be investigated, arrested, tried and, if guilty, imprisoned.

If the system is seen to be working, people will believe in it.

In the meantime, freedom of expression has been dragged out of the silent corners. Writers around the world are now reporting on this situation. In recent days, there have been hundreds of reports in Mexico alone. Free expression and the scandal of impunity have a good chance of becoming election issues. And if people keep pushing, the Senate will pass that key law.

Mexico’s friends want this as much as our Mexican friends in Mexico. The message is simple: The government must bring an end to the violence. And the freedom of writers to write without being killed is central to this.

Read full article…


Commuting to Drug War’s Stalingrad

August 22, 2011

Zócalo Public Square, 8/22/11

Being a war correspondent has its downsides. I’ve seen a headless body left hanging from an overpass at dawn, and covered several mass murders. At a drug rehab center I stood outside the tiny building where 17 people had been massacred on a sidewalk that was drenched in blood. I’ve talked to too many grieving victims of senseless violence, including parents of slaughtered children, and children of slaughtered parents. It all remains horrifying, trust me.

I realize there are plenty of journalists in places like Afghanistan or famine-struck Somalia who must bear witness to similar horrors, but they have to fly across many time zones to encounter them. What’s surreal about my reporting assignment is that I commute to it from America’s quotidian tranquility – sometimes I even swing by my Starbucks drive-thru en route to the war zone next door.

Indeed, I live in one of the safest cities in the United States – El Paso, Texas, had the lowest crime rate among large cities in CQ Press’ 2010 crime report – and work in one of the world’s most notorious murder capitals – Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Read more…

Interesting report on investigative journalism in Mexico

July 22, 2011

Mexico Institute, 7/22/11

Kate Doyle, a senior analyst of U.S. policy in Latin America at The National Security Archive, published a paper this Spring in conjunction with the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley on Investigative Journalism and Access to Information in Mexico. The paper includes an overview of the press in Mexico as well as research that Doyle conducted in order to examine the different ways in which three Mexican media outlets utilized freedom of information laws to assist in their watchdog journalism.

To read the report, click here.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,805 other followers