Doing journalism in times of drugs war


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Doing journalism in times of trouble: Mexican war on drugs and freedom of expression

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Doing journalism in times of drugs war

  1. 1. Doing journalism in times of trouble. War on drugs and freedom of speech in Mexico<br />By María Elena Meneses<br />Researchassistant: Talía Murillo<br />March 11th 2010<br />Tecnológico de Monterrey and University of North Carolina and Chapell Hill academicmeeting<br />
  2. 2. Mexico: a dangerous place for journalists<br /> Mexico is the second most dangerous country for exercising journalism <br />after Iraq. <br />International News <br />Safety Institute, 2009<br />Christoph Bangert<br />
  3. 3. Mexico: a dangerous place for journalists<br /> Tele Atlas, Transnavicom, Europa Technologies, 2010<br />
  4. 4. Mexico: a dangerous place for journalists<br /> Tele Atlas, Transnavicom, Europa Technologies, 2010<br />
  5. 5. Drug Trafficking: A Global issue<br />Producers<br />Consumers<br />International distribution networks<br />
  6. 6. InternationalDistributionNetworks<br />Heroin<br />Cocaine<br />European Parliament <br />WWW.EUROPARL.EUROPA.EU<br />Marijuana<br />Hashish<br />
  7. 7. Drug Trafficking: A Global issue<br />Mexico has fundamentally been a producer and distributor country through the known cartels and criminal organizations.<br />Poppy flower in Guerrero La Jornada, March 2010<br />
  8. 8. North America<br /> The UN estimates that around 200 000 people a year consume drugs at least once a year. <br /> North America consumes the 75% of drugs. <br />David Høgsholt<br />UN and Organization of American States (OAS), 2009<br />
  9. 9. A great business<br />
  10. 10. A great business<br />Worldwide: 320 billion dollars.<br />Mexico: drug trafficking is worth 19 billion dollars, occupying half a million people. <br />United Nations, 2009<br />
  11. 11. A great business<br />Drug trafficking <br />employed 25% <br />more people than <br />What Mc Donald’s <br />did worldwide.<br />Expansión magazine, 2009.<br />
  12. 12. A way to obtain a job<br /> In 60% of the Mexican municipalities there are people employed in organized crime.<br />Ramón Galindo, Mexican Senator<br />
  13. 13. Mexican war on drugs<br />Poverty <br />Lack of opportunities<br />Corruption<br />Impunity<br />Neighborhood with the US<br />Benjamín Flores, 2001<br />
  14. 14. President Calderon’s war on drugs<br />More than 30 000<br />soldiers and policemen<br />US moral and <br />Intelligence<br />support<br />ProcesoFoto2008<br />
  15. 15. Mexican cartels<br />New York Times, 2009<br />
  16. 16. Consequences<br />15 thousand deaths <br />More than 7 thousand traffickers captures<br />One big lord <br />Arturo Beltrán Leyva<br />El Universal, 2009<br />
  17. 17. Consequences<br />1 executionevery 65 minutes<br />Violenceclimate in thewhole country<br />MexicanSenate and Center forJournalism and PublicEthics <br />Reforma, 2009<br />
  18. 18. Morelia’s drama<br />Grenade attack, Independence Day, 2008<br />
  19. 19. How do criminals use journalists?<br />Proceso foto, 2010<br />
  20. 20. Drug messages<br />Proceso foto, 2008<br />
  21. 21. Ethical dilemmas<br />To cover or not to cover?<br />If I get a picture… am I an accomplice?<br />Mario Campos, Proceso foto 2004 <br />
  22. 22. Assassinations of journalists<br />From 2000 to 2009 <br /> 57 journalists were killed <br /> in Mexico<br />Most of them under impunity<br />Trials are opened<br />RSF, 2010<br />
  23. 23. 2009<br />Jean Paul Ibarra, El Correo, murdered on February 13th<br />Luis Daniel Méndez, murdered on February 23th<br />Carlos Ortega, El Tiempo, murdered on May 3th<br />Eliseo Barron, La OpiniónMilenio, kidnapped and murdered on May<br /> 26th<br />Martín Miranda, Panorama Radio, murdered on July 12th<br />Ernesto Montañez, Enfoque Magazine, murdered on July 14th<br />Daniel Martínez, Radiorama, murdered on July 27th<br />12 Mexicanjournalistswerekilled<br />
  24. 24. 2009<br />Norbert Miranda, Radio Visión murdered on September 23th<br />Fabián Ramirez, Magia Radio station, murdered on November 11th<br />Vladimir Antuna, El Tiempo de Durango, murdered on November 2nd<br />José Galindo, Radio Universidad de Guadalajara found death on December 24th<br />José Velázquez, Expresiones de Tulum.<br /> Source: Center for Journalism and Public Ethics.<br />
  25. 25. Violations against the freedom of speech<br />183 journalists suffered from some type of threat or extortion in Mexico.<br />Journalists are victims of Levantones ( express kidnappings)<br />Most of them occured in Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Puebla and Mexico City<br />Source: Center for Journalism and Public Ethics.<br />
  26. 26. Violations against the freedom of speech<br /> In oneout of every threeattacks the police forces have been involved…<br /> the same forces that guarantee the order in times of organized crime. <br />Proceso foto, 2009<br />
  27. 27. Implications for journalism<br />Self-censorship<br />Journalists do not count with reliable sources<br />The official information is the one that flows but it is partial <br />The coverage limits itself to give the list of deaths or traffickers captured<br />
  28. 28. Implications for journalism<br />“The confusion is permanent: incessant crimes do not allow to distinguish sides or reasons, the dead bodies pile up each day in the front pages and do not allow to see the forest”<br /> MARIA IDALIA GOMEZ Y DARIO FRITZ <br />(Mexican journalists talking about covering drug trafficking)<br />
  29. 29. Most violent cities<br /> Ciudad Juarez (Mexico)<br /> Caracas (Venezuela)<br /> New Orleans (USA)<br /> Tijuana (Mexico)<br /> Bagdad takes the 10th place<br />Source: Citizen Council for Public Security<br />
  30. 30. Ethical dilemmas<br /> How to inform without being a speaker of the parts involved: the government or the crime?<br />
  31. 31. Ethical dilemmas<br />Servando Gomez Martínez “La Tuta”<br />(from La Familia cartel) <br />interviewedby Milenio <br />
  32. 32. What has Mexican media done ?<br /> Televisa and Excelsior have decided not to record any narcomensaje<br />But other media like Milenio <br />have even interviewed criminals<br />
  33. 33. What has Mexican media done ?<br /> Others, like Proceso have stopped signing the news stories.<br />
  34. 34. What has Mexican media done ?<br />Others have chosen self-censorship<br />March in front of the PGR office in relationtocrimes and agressionstojournalists.<br />Proceso foto<br />December 2009<br />
  35. 35. What should journalists do?<br />Spread the news, “as an independent monitor of any type of power”.<br />Take care of themselves and media should provide them with training.<br />Journalists should be responsible in their coverage.<br />Take a field camp notebook, have a close relationship with their editor –to whom they must inform of all their steps. <br />Also gather with sources in public places.<br />
  36. 36. What should journalists do?<br />A journalist is not the prosecutor, he is just a translator that explains and helps understand the complex reality of society.<br />Reports, statistics and sources’ testimonies should be confronted. Using leaks it’s OK, but through an accurate verification. <br />
  37. 37. What Society needs to know…<br />Authorities corruption<br />Army, policemen and politicians<br />Money laundry<br />Impunity<br />Conflict of interest<br />
  38. 38. The case of Colombia<br />To move journalists from zones of risk to safer ones.<br />Provide training in the coverage of organized crime.<br />Give life insurances and protection to family members of the journalists at risk.<br />Lower the number of assassinations through intelligence reports.<br />Plan Antonio Nariño<br />
  39. 39. Thankyou<br />María Elena Meneses<br />Former TV journalist<br />Professor and researcher at Tecnológico de Monterrey<br /><br />twitter@marmenes<br /> My blog:<br />Talía Murillo Monroy<br />Journalismstudent at Tecnológico de Monterrey<br />Assistantproducer at MVS Noticias<br /><br />
  40. 40. Special Thanks to:<br />-Reuters TV Mexico bureau<br />-Center for Journalism and Public Ethics for bringing us The Anual Report one day before it went public. The complete report 2009 : <br /><br /><ul><li>Jorge Luis Aguirre
  41. 41. ItzelBarrónChirino</li>