In the embattled Mexican city across the river from El Paso, the editor of el Diario has surrendered to the drug cartels because of the murders of his employees.
Itâ€™s a sad sign of the times in Mexico, of how free speech, and therefore democracy, has been beaten into submission by the ultraviolent narco gangs, which routinely kill and torture to get their way.
Washington should be paying more attention to the extreme national security threat next door as Mexico melts down, but the President seems too busy with golf. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton gave a hint of concern recently when she compared the countryâ€™s situation with the Colombia â€?insurgencyâ€? of 20 years back â€” an assessment which Obama dismissed out of hand.
Mexico paper seeks Ciudad Juarez drug gang guidance, BBC, September 20, 2010Below, the map doesnâ€™t show much territory controlled by Mexico City.
El Diario de Juarez has become known for its strong reporting from the deadly streets of Ciudad Juarez.
But the killing of a 21-year-old photographer last week prompted the newspaper to run a front-page editorial asking: â€?What do you want from us?â€?
Rights groups say journalists are regularly being targeted by drug gangs.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, a US-based advocacy group, says more than 30 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2006.
Many of those killed were reporting on crime or corruption, the group says, adding that the climate of fear has led to a widespread culture of self-censorship among fearful media workers.
â€?No surrenderâ€™ El Diarioâ€™s editorial, published on its front page on Sunday, was its second since Luis Carlos Santiago, 21, was shot in Ciudad Juarez on 17 September. He later died of his injuries, although an intern who was also shot, Carlos Sanchez, survived the attack.
â€?The loss of two reporters from this publishing house in less than two years represents an irreparable sorrow for all of us who work here, and, in particular, for their families,â€? the newspaper said. [. . .]
The newspaper had not decided to stop publishing stories on the drug war, Mr Rodriguez said, but would consider doing so if the answer that came from the cartels indicated that was their wish.