Saturday, December 25, 2010

Politics USA-Mexico border: Juarez, Mexico: Shay Riley spotlites Juan Williams' visit to Juarez kids

The moderate-liberal commentator reports on the out-of-control crime in the border town of Juarez, Mexico: "People in Juarez are nervous about even stopping at a red light because the drug cartels hire gangbangers like [14-year-old Edgar] Jiminez – poor children, drop-outs with automatic weapons who might as well be playing video games -- to shoot it out. The violence is often public because the cartels want to be feared as they vie for control of Juarez, the most critical junction of all drug trafficking routes into the U.S."

More: "Murderous violence hangs over everyday life in Juarez like suffocating hot air. In this city of 1.3 million, about 3,000 people have been killed this year. Last year, the total was about 2,763. In 2008, it was 1,623. Altogether, that amounts to more than 5,000 people in two-and-a-half years. In all, 7,386 have died in Juarez in the last 3 years. And this does not include 1,900 carjackings in 2009 or the unknown number of people who have been kidnapped, tortured and blackmailed. Even more people can testify to losing family and friends to the violence."

He continues his commentary: "I had initially come to Mexico as part of a joint effort by the U.S. Embassy, the United Nations and the Mexican government. They wanted a well-known American journalist to join with Mexican journalists in speaking out against the outright intimidation, even murder, being used to silence any writing or broadcasting stories about the drug trade. Journalists here operate in a state of fright. Investigative work, stories about ties between drugs, politicians, banks and police, is stifled by fear of murderous reprisals. Even when a journalist is killed here, there is no common expression of outrage among newspapers, TV and radio programs. There is little if any celebration of the dead journalist’s courage. In fact, news outlets are slow to report the murders of journalists and some outlets will allow defamatory suggestions that the journalist might have been involved with drugs or on the payroll of the cartels."

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