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The Drug Wars

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U.S. and Mexican Media Fearful of Covering Border Violence

March 22nd 2013

Mexico militia

Southwest border violence has reached such a dangerous boiling point that both Mexican and American journalists forsaken their reporting about the heinous crimes due to their legitimate fear that the drug cartels will retaliate against them and their families, according to a public-interest, watchdog group on Wednesday.

This fear of retaliation by reporters is leading to a situation in which Americans will be kept in the dark about the crisis along the porous and increasingly dangerous Mexican border since the Obama administration is telling Americans the border with Mexico is becoming more peaceful, according to narco-terrorism expert and drug enforcement official Donald Kubisty.

Upon receiving the latest homicide statistics that revealed over 70,000 Mexicans were killed since 2006, Mexico's new leader, President Enrique Pena Nieto, announced on Mexican television that a brand new national police agency will be fully deployed by December 2013 and will be comprised of at least 10,000 officers when they kickoff law enforcement operations.

 

"If the media are too scared to cover the violence and bloodshed on both sides of the southwest border, then who can we rely on for full disclosure. If Border Patrol agents speak to the media -- or anyone else for that matter -- about the true conditions, they stand a good chance of being harassed at best, or fired at worst by their superiors," said Kubisty.

"We certainly can’t expect the truth from the government. Remember that the nation’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, insists that the region is 'as secure as it has ever been.' This delusional assessment has been repeated by Napolitano over and over again in a seemingly desperate effort to make people believe it," claims Judicial Watch.

According to Judicial Watch's Corruption Chronicles, without truthful and accurate information from the media to counter Obama's and his minion's version, "the public is likely to swallow the government’s less than accurate assessment.

Originally it was Mexican journalists, who were either victims of drug-cartel violence or frightened, and therefore stopped reporting crime in the region. But now, according to J.W., American journalists located in U.S. border cities allegedly followed suit and now appear to have stopped reporting on drug-related violence, at least from the scenes of the crimes and mass graves.

“Mexican journalists, because of fear for their own lives and the safety of their families, are increasingly reluctant to cover drug cartels’ violence and mayhem,” according to Lee Maril, the director of the Center for Diversity and Inequality Research (CDIR), a university group that studies human diversity and social inequality. Maril recently published a piece on the topic in a Homeland Security news site.

“What has occurred in recent months is that American reporters located in American border cities also have stopped reporting on drug-related violence across the border for the same reasons as their Mexican counterparts,” Maril noted.

That means no one really knows the true magnitude of the violence, though it’s apparent that the U.S. government is downplaying it. “It would seem that drug violence only stops at the Mexican border in the imaginations of Washington politicians,” Maril says, offering a recent example in Reynosa, the twin border city of McAllen in south Texas. A small local newspaper's reporter dared to publish this: “Fear and panic filled the streets as rival gunmen battled during a three-hour firefight that saw automatic weapons and grenades used.”

For the most part American reporters have stopped crossing the border into cities like Reynosa because they are afraid, according to Maril. National journalists from major newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times simply ignore major stories of drug-cartel violence like what just occurred in Reynosa, says Maril who monitors the coverage closely with his group of academic researchers.

"For years, Judicial Watch has reported on the discrepancy between reality and the administration’s line that the Mexican border is secure. The truth is that overwhelmed federal agents are increasingly attacked by heavily armed drug smugglers and the U.S. Border Patrol has ordered officers to avoid the most crime-infested stretches because they’re too dangerous and patrolling them could result in an “international incident” of cross border shooting," officials at the Judicial Watch web site state.

The war on drugs launched by former President Felipe Calderon, who was in office from 2006 to 2012, left about 70,000 people dead in Mexico, according to the latest government figures.

The Mexican news media estimate that more than 12,000 people died in violent incidents linked to organized crime gangs in 2012 alone. On Tuesday, the Mexican government released an official database of missing people. It reveals that 26,120 people disappeared between December 2006 and November 2012. That number is separate from the 70,000 deaths.

Jim Kouri writes for The Examiner, from where this article is adapted. He is the fifth Vice President and Public Information Officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and has served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.


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