Crime and Violence

Journalism censored by violence in the border state of Tamaulipas

According to The Dallas Morning News, an almost complete news censorship has been imposed along much of Mexico’s border with Texas, specifically in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas and the municipal of Reynosa.  The self-censorship has been enforced by threats, abductions and attacks against journalists by drug cartels in conflict.

Although collisions between suspected cartel gunmen and Mexican law enforcement were reported, the rise in violence and self-censorship in Tamaulipas is said to be linked to the ongoing conflict between the Gulf Cartel and its former armed wing, Los Zetas.

According to New America Media:

“Last week’s violent showdown was practically announced, when the Gulf Cartel, La Familia and other smaller cartels unveiled narco-banners in several Mexican states earlier this month announcing an alliance against Los Zetas. Presumably authored by Los Zetas, narco-banners posted in Tamapaulipas and four other states this week sarcastically challenged the purported alliance.”

Media sources agree that details of the confrontations and numbers of injured or killed are difficult to find, as local media is self-censoring themselves out of fear of cartel retaliation. At least eight Mexican journalists have been abducted in the Reynosa area in the past fourteen days, reports The Dallas Morning News. Of the eight journalist abducted, two were released, one died, and the rest remain missing.  Of the five missing journalists there is a reporter from El Manana, a freelance photographer from La Tarde, two journalists from an online service, and a TV cameraman.

After reporting for four days, a reporter and cameraman from Milenio TV in Mexico City were abducted, beat, interrogated and then released by a suspected member of a drug cartel. Ciro Gómez Leyva, the news director who sent the crew to Reynosa wrote, “Every day in more regions in Mexico it is impossible to do reporting. Journalism is dead in Reynosa, etcetera. I have nothing else to say.”


New America Media. “New Cartel War Erupts.” New America Media. March 07, 2010.

Corchado, Alfredo. “Cartels use intimidation campaign to stifle news coverage in Mexico.” The dallas Morning News. March 08, 2010.

Mazzetti, Maggie, Nick Valencia. “With violence rising, U.S. Consulate closes office in Reynosa, Mexico.” February 25, 2010.

Consulate General of the United States Matamoros Mexico. “ALERT: NEW Warden Message from American Consulate General, Matamoros, Tamaulipas, February 24, 2010.” U.S. Department of State. February 24, 2010.

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  1. Pingback: Fourth homicide linked to posting of information through social networks « Justice in Mexico

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