Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Violence in Mexico

The horrific acts of violence committed by the cartels are done so to intimidate the public and to project their image as powerful and beyond the control of the government. The U.S. media helps the cartels to project this image and we are too lazy to examine facts that put things into perspective.

First, almost every news article about violence in Mexico contains references to many previous stories about violence in Mexico. Suppose that were the policy for your city? If every murder, rape and robbery were reported on the front pages of every news paper in America; if every crime were the lead story on every news program the world would view your city as a horrible place. Recently, there were multiple murders in American cities. Although the news was reported, there were no references to earlier killings, rapes and robberies in these cities.

Searching for facts to put things into perspective, I read that some media sources believe as many as 40,000 people have been murdered in Mexico since 2006, largely due to the drug war. The fact is that most were murdered because of the fighting among the cartels and most of the dead were involved with a cartel.

Search for this fact. How many people were murdered in the USA since 2006? Over 70,000! Yes, we are twice the size with a larger population. However, most of our dead were not involved in crime. Most of our dead were innocents.

Instead of this comparison, the media compared the number of people killed in Mexico with the number of U.S. military killed in our current wars. A more realistic comparisons puts things into a more realistic view. Are there places in Mexico that are very violent? Yes. Are businesses in some cities paying 'protection money' to criminals ? Yes. Do I travel every two weeks and walk the streets in a Mexican border-city? Yes.

Although I do not see evidence of violence I do see evidence of the impact of our skewed reporting. Tourism along the border is gone. Both U.S. and Mexican border cities suffered huge losses in jobs because of relentless reporting in ways to terrify the public.

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