Mexican Newspaper Surrenders To Drug Cartels: Tell Us What We Can Print – Give Us A Truce

Mourning the Death of Diario de Juarez newspaper photographer Carlos Santiago

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — The largest newspaper in Ciudad Juarez asked the border city’s warring drug cartels Sunday for a truce after the killing last week of its second journalist in less than two years.

In a front-page editorial, El Diario de Juarez asked the cartels what they want from the newspaper so it can continue its work without further death, injury or intimidation of its staff.

“Leaders of the different organizations that are fighting for control of Ciudad Juarez: The loss of two reporters from this publishing house in less than two years represents an irreparable breakdown for all of us who work here, and, in particular, for their families,” the editorial said.

“We ask you to explain what you want from us, what we should try to publish or not publish, so we know what to expect.”

Crime scene investigators remove the body of photojournalist Luis Carlos Santiago

It was the newspaper’s second front-page editorial since gunmen attacked two El Diario photographers Thursday — one a new employee and the other an intern. One died and the other was seriously wounded as they left for lunch in Mexico’s most dangerous city.

In 2008, a crime reporter for El Diario was slain outside his home as he was about to take his daughters to school.

The editorial Sunday said drug gangs in the city across from El Paso, Texas, are the de facto authorities, and criticized both the Chihuahua state government and President Felipe Calderon for their lack of protection for journalists.

“We don’t want to continue to be used as cannon fodder in this war because we’re tired,” Diario’s editor, Pedro Torres, told The Associated Press.

He said the staff felt great rage, helplessness and despair after burying new employee Luis Carlos Santiago, 21, on Saturday.

“Burying the body does not bury the impunity or pain,” Torres said. “There is a feeling of great anxiety and impotence surrounding this situation.”

Reporter Armando Rodriguez - Protesting Violence Against Reporters Prior To His Murder

The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based watchdog group, said in a recent report that at least 22 Mexican journalists have been killed since December 2006, when Calderon intensified a crackdown on drug cartels by deploying tens of thousands of troops and federal police across the country.

At least eight of the journalists were killed because of their reports on crime and corruption, the group said.

Mexican journalists are increasingly under siege from drug cartels seeking to control the flow of information, and many media outlets, especially in border areas, have stopped covering the drug war.

Until Sunday, El Diario was not one of them.

“Even in one of the places where violence is worst … El Diario was still doing a lot of good reporting on crime,” said Carlos Lauria, a CPJ senior coordinator. “The fact that they’re giving up is really bad. It’s an indication that the situation is out of control.”

In a front-page editorial Friday, El Diario said journalists have nowhere to turn for protection because of the inability of Mexican security forces to solve most attacks on the media.

Drug violence the past two years has killed nearly 5,000 people in Ciudad Juarez, a city of 1.3 million people.

http://www.cleveland.com/world/index.ssf/2010/09/what_should_we_not_publish_mex.html

Drug Cartel Violence. Young Woman Murdered - Mutilated By Cartel

Mexican Police Chief DECAPITATED By Drug Cartel

11 of 16 Bodies Dumped By Cartel At Side Of Road In Tijanana

MONTERREY, Mexico — The decapitated body of the police chief of a northern Mexico town and the body of his brother were found inside the chief’s patrol truck Friday, authorities said. Hours earlier, gunmen killed a deputy police chief and his bodyguard in another part of Mexico’s north.

The body of Heriberto Cerda, the police chief in Agualeguas, was found on the bed of a patrol pickup truck, which was left on a dirt road in the nearby town of General Trevino. His head was on his lap, said a spokesman for Nuevo Leon state prosecutors who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case.

The body of the chief’s brother, Jesus Cerda, was found inside the truck, the official said. He didn’t say how Jesus Cerda was killed.

Nuevo Leon state secretary general Javier Trevino told reporters that Cerda and his brother had been reported missing Thursday.

The windshield and driver’s door of the patrol car had “C.D.G.,” an acronym for the Gulf drug cartel, written in blood, photos showed.

Drug Cartel Violence. Young Woman Murdered - Mutilated By Cartel

The border state of Nuevo Leon, where Agualeguas and General Trevino are located, has seen an upsurge in violence that authorities say is the result of a turf battle between the Gulf cartel and the Zetas, the cartel’s former hit men.

The slayings came a day after Mexican marines on patrol in the Nuevo Leon town of Cerralvo came under fire after ordering a convoy of gunmen traveling in six vehicles to stop. Six of the assailants were killed.

Nearly 18,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched an assault on cartels after taking office in December 2006.

In the northern state of Sonora, gunmen in a pickup truck fatally shot the deputy police chief and his bodyguard in the city of Nogales, which sits across the border from the Arizona city of the same name, authorities said Friday.

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