The Diario de Juarez published a moving editorial over the weekend entitled “What Do You Want From Us?” concerning the recent death of a staff photographer on Thursday. It was not so much an annoucement that the paper planned to cut coverage of Juarez’s crime beat, but more of a veiled attack against inept government and police officials, for failing to do more to rebuild their own credibility via rule of law.
It is no secret that Mexican journalists routinely face intimidation and death threats, in relation to crime reporting: according to the Comittee to Protect Journalists, a U.S.-based watchdog group, 30 Mexican journalist have died or disappeared in the last four years. The Juarez-based newspaper did critique President Calderon for failing to follow up on promises to reinforce security measures for reporters. But what the editorial really appears to highlight is the ongoing lack of confidence in Mexico’s public institutions. Armando Rodríguez Carreón was another one of the Diario de Juarez’s crime reporters, gunned down November 13, 2008.
Investigations into his death have resulted in nothing, the editorial points out, adding, “There have been so many promises that this case will resolve itself, without anything becoming resolved, that at this point if these authorities present us with a supposed perpetrator of the crime, the first thing we would do is doubt it.” According to Reporters Without Borders, another Juarez-based journalist, Emilio Gutiérrez Soto, was forced to flee to the U.S. after reportedly receiving threats from military personnel. Cases like these do nothing to build credibility in Mexico’s police, army or justice system.