NPR has yet to put up a transcript of the story that ran this morning about the newspaper in Saltillo that announced it would no longer run stories about drug-related violence. The action came after one of the paper’s reporters was kidnapped, tortured and killed for doing a series of stories about the drug cartels.
The news of the newspaper’s action was buried in other news outlets, it seems, because the same day a rival cartel member had his face removed and stitched on a soccer ball.
Back to the newspaper decision.
The Houston Chronicle reports:
In the northern city of Saltillo, a major regional newspaper announced it would stop covering drug violence altogether after the body of a reporter was found Friday outside a motel with a threatening message. Valentin Valdes had recently written about the arrests of suspected drug traffickers.
The Chronicle had earlier reported the kidnapping and death of Valdes: Slaying shows the risks of reporting in Mexico
This most recent atrocity shows is just more evidence that Mexico is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 44 journalists were killed in Mexico since 1992. Of those, 18 were killed just because they were journalists.
The newspapers in border states seem to be doing a better job of reporting how dangerous the northern part of Mexico is becoming. That makes sense, because what happens on one side of the border greatly affects the other side. There are already reports of cartel violence crossing over to the States. And there are regular reports about how the cartels arm themselves in the U.S. at various gun shows and gun shops.
More news about how the violence is affecting the social and political institutions in Mexico would be nice. But having a gang member’s face being stitched on a soccer ball seem to trump the deaths of journalists and the shutting down — for mere self-preservation — of a whole section of news reporting.