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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Mexican editor talks about newspaper's editorial calling for truce with drug traffickers



Gerardo Rodriguez, editor of the Mexican newspaper El Diario de Juarez, spoke with NPR during an interview about violence, impunity, and the editorial the newspaper published Sunday, Sept. 19, asking drug cartels for a truce.

Rodriguez explained that the editorial was in response to the shooting death of 21-year-old photographer Luis Carlos Santiago. An intern, who now is in hiding, also was injured in the attack.

The editorial, "What do you want from us?", was written in an "ironic manner," Rodriguez said. "It used to be that they would call the TV stations and the newsrooms, and they would threaten. But now, without any notice or without us knowing why, they are killing our reporters. And we just don't think a story is worth life."

He went on to say that the point behind the editorial was to "send a message" that the journalists recognize the cartels are the de facto authorities in town. "The cartels are not just criminal. You know, sometimes they're politicians. We're recognizing this fact, which everybody talks about in Mexico but is not published very often."

Violence has gotten so bad that reporters at El Diario are wearing bullet-proof vests now, he said, adding that he hoped the editorial would help people understand that this is not just about the city of Juarez. "The use of drugs are increasing in the United States," he said. "We're all responsible for what’s going in Juarez. The criminal cartels are worldwide, and there is not a unilateral solution for this. It’s not a Mexican problem. It’s an international problem."



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