What do you expect of us? Mexican newspapers and the drug war

This is a story from last week, but is still incredible and terrible. In response to the recent attacks on their journalists and photographers the El Diario de Juarez newspaper from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico posted an editorial on the front page of their paper asking the drug cartels, who they consider “the de-facto authorities”, “What do you expect from us as a medium?”.

“We are looking for a peace agreement. No story is worth the life of anyone anymore.”

The newspaper had not decided to stop publishing stories on the drug war, [Gerardo] Rodriguez said, but would consider doing so if the answer that came from the cartels indicated that was their wish.

Describing El Diario as a “very aggressive” organisation that “searches for the truth”, he conceded that the paper might have to scale back its work if the violence did not stop.

“We may consider stopping in exchange for the lives of our reporters.”

Conditions and threats against journalism in this and many other cities in northern Mexico, not to mention the population, police, politicians, are dire.
The BBC reports on this story and says, “the editorial insisted it was not ‘a surrender’, saying instead that it had simply become ‘impossible to do our job in these conditions’.”

A sad turn of events. I can’t hold it against these journalists for seeking clarification, in whichever way possible, of the new rules of society under the occupation of cartels. Best wishes to our comrades in arms doing their best in a hostile environment.

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