Media blackout on escalated crime war going on in Mexico for fear of death--Houston Chronicle
- Nuevo Laredo, Mexico: "Heavily armed troops patrol the city, combat erupts in the streets and
- After years of relative calm, the gangland nightmare is back — and yet, barely a single mention of the clashes here has been made by local radio and television stations or newspapers.
- The city's journalists, having lost some of their own and seen their colleagues across the country killed or kidnapped,
- have been silenced for fear for their lives.
"Nowhere is the media controlled more than it is here," said one reporter, who stressed he would face serious danger if identified. "There is total control."
- The extreme criminal violence flailing much of Mexico has returned to this rattled city on the Rio Grande where it started six years ago.
On Sunday, the slaughtered bodies of four men - along with those of a dog and a cat - were left in front of Nuevo Laredo's bullring.
- Placards left with the bodies blamed one of the men for a grenade attack a few days earlier that killed one and injured more than a dozen at a sports complex.
Several journalists and residents say the media here have been cowed into silence by attacks and a barrage of death threats from the Zetas, the gangsters many consider the real lords of Nuevo Laredo.
Photographs and a brief story about the bodies at the bullring did appear Monday in local newspapers, but journalists from competing local media - all of whom fear being publicly identified -
- said the Zetas ordered the publication as a warning to their enemies.
Street clashes around the city between soldiers and supposed gangsters on July 16 killed at least 12 people and wounded 21,
- some of them bystanders. The turmoil continued much of past week, with gun battles erupting at all hours.
"There are situations that terrify you," said Emilio Fernandez, president of the local chamber of commerce, who said his own daughter now refuses to cross into Mexico from neighboring Laredo.
- Neither the mayor nor state or federal officials have offered details about the killings.
Similar news blackouts reign in Matamoros, Reynosa and other cities bordering South Texas where the Zetas, or their former allies in the Gulf Cartel, have a tight grip.
- "Before the news was alarmist; now there's no information at all," said Carlos Martinez, vice president of another business association.
In desperate frustration, many Mexican border residents have turned to Twitter, Facebook, blogs and text messages to keep up with what's happening. But the online posts often are conflicting or unconfirmed. Rumors ricochet. Panic flares.
- "We are living a historic moment in our city. People feel trapped, misinformed, very upset," Martinez said. "This creates a psychosis. We only know what we hear from other people."
One Twitter poster called it "the only means of being informed."
Journalists here have reason to be frightened. At least eight Mexican journalists have been murdered because of their work since President Felipe Calderon launched the crackdown on criminals, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
- Several dozen others have simply gone missing.
Four journalists were kidnapped Monday in the city of Gomez Palacios, another northern city battered by gang warfare.
- Gangsters demanded that television stations broadcast videos favorable to them in exchange for the journalists' lives.
- The station complied, but the men had not been released as of Thursday evening.
Here in Nuevo Laredo, an editor from El Mañ ana, the city's largest newspaper, was stabbed to death in 2004. A radio reporter was killed in 2005. And in 2006, gunmen attacked El Mañ ana's newsroom with assault weapons and a grenade, leaving a reporter paralyzed.
- Now, journalists say all the local news outlets get constant messages - sometimes from colleagues working for the gangsters -
- ordering which events are to be covered and those that are not.
Mexico's gangland skirmishes began in this city bordering South Texas in late 2003. The Zeta gunmen working for the Gulf Cartel criminal organization fought rivals from Mexico's Pacific Coast for control of smuggling routes to U.S. consumers.
- More than 400 people were killed in little more than two years. But the warring gangs, many say, worked out a truce. The killing all but stopped.
Now, following a deadly rift last winter between the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel,
"God grant us a tranquil day," someone named "evil lizzard" wrote Wednesday on Twitter. "Thanks to all who help care for our security."" ***via American Thinker
- 8/1, "The latest wave of violence along the U.S. border was sparked
by a dispute this past winter between the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel marking a violent split between former allies who had joined forces in 2003 to battle rival gangs from Mexico's Pacific Coast. The ultimate prize remains the same; control of the
- smuggling routes which funnel narcotics and illegal immigrants into the United States.
Meanwhile here in America, the Obama regime and their fellow travelers in the mainstream media are busy controlling the news from our southern border and using their power and influence
- to prevent the state of Arizona from taking badly needed steps to protect their citizens."
- treats the Sinaloa cartel more leniently than other drug gangs."...
- Decapitated heads found in Mexico, via Giovanni
- Trash on Arizona border, Rape Tree in background,
- photo 3/16/09, Now Public
- Violence has reached epidemic proportions, April 20, 2010, cns news service
- Arizona deputy shot by illegal alien taken to hospital, 4/30, ap
- Top photo: Mets security personnel attempts to catch up with man carrying Mexican flag across the field during Mets game v Arizona Diamondbacks, 7/30/10, ap. Arizona won 9-6. If you did something like the above in Mexico, you'd likely be beaten, robbed, raped, and put in jail.
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