MEXICO: Cartel Threats Pressure Journalists to Self-Censor
[...] As the drug war scales new heights of savagery, one of the devastating byproducts of the carnage is the drug traffickers' chilling ability to co-opt underpaid and under-protected journalists — who are haunted by the knowledge that they are failing in their journalistic mission of informing society.
[...] It is in Mexico's far-flung states where narco-censorship is most severe. From the border states of Tamaulipas and Chihuahua and into the central and southern states of Durango and Guerrero, reporters say they are acutely aware that traffickers do not want the local news to 'heat the plaza' — to draw attention to their drug production and smuggling and efforts to subjugate the population. Such attention would invite the government to send troops and curtail their business.
[...] The United Nations sent its first such mission to Mexico last week to examine dangers to freedom of expression.
[...] Few killings are ever investigated, and the climate of impunity leads to more bloodshed, says an upcoming report from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Los Angeles Times (17 August 2010)