Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Plata o plomo?

"Money or lead?" is what residents from the U.S.-Mexico border are being asked, according to ABC news.

How far should news coverage go if life is threatened? Reporting on the border turn out to be one of the dangerous assignments a reporter can take.

According to the International Herald Tribune, Mexico has become one of the most dangerous places to practice journalism, outside of Iraq. The San Antonio Express-News says Mexico is among the deadliest places to be a journalist.

"Drug dealers and corrupt police officers regularly kill those who write about them, leading most reporters to censor themselves," the International Herald Tribune reads.

Should reporters risk their lives to cover the news? How far should the media go in getting the news?

Nuevo Laredo is a small town with a population over 350,000 (census 2005). Located across from Laredo, TX, it has made perfect spot for drug smuggling for years.

According to the Laredo Morning Times, the history of violence began in 2001 when the Gulf cartel’s Zeta battled for control in Nuevo Laredo against the Sinaloa Cartel, headed by Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera, according to federal court documents.

In 2001, the Zeta group rented houses for drug trafficking.
According to the Laredo Morning Times, the Zetas were involved in shipping firearms from Dallas to Nuevo Laredo in 2003.

By 2005, Zetas, both U.S. and Mexican citizens, had safe houses in Laredo. There, they staged at least five assassinations between June of that year and April 2006, the Laredo Morning Times reads.

The Times mentions that according to authorities, Sinaloa hit men were also active in Laredo. Two hits, which were attributed to sicarios for the Chapos, were reported in 2005.

The Zetas outsourced their crimes in 2006 to prison gangs. Zetas contracted Texas Syndicate members to kidnap a victim, the Laredo Morning Times reads and according to a criminal complaint filed by Laredo police.

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