Posted: May 15, 2012 11:07 PM
Updated: May 16, 2012 10:29 AM
MEXICO - One reporter from Mexico says journalism in his country no longer exists. He tells us extortion and threats from the cartels are destroying Mexico's media, and fear dictates the headlines in northern Mexico.
"If you publish something, they will find out, and they will find you," says the reporter. "It's common sense. If you appreciate your life, you won't do it. Simple as that."
The result is a news media filled with corruption and selective writing. Investigative reports do not exist. Mass killings like the 49 beheaded bodies found near Monterrey this week are often buried on the back pages.
The reporter who spoke with us says covering something as simple as a car accident can draw stern warnings from cartel members. "The driver who has the fault, it's a friend of the neighbor of the cousin of a friend of the boss. Just an accident, and the people that are telling you that are with guns in their hands," he says.
The reporter tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS the Cartel del Gulfo watches the press in his area; he says he's relieved he doesn't work in Zetas territory.
"You can have more courtesy with the Gulf Cartel than with the Zetas," he says.
The violence is forcing some media members on the border to publicly surrender their objectiveness to the drug lords.
This week, El Manana in Nuevo Laredo announced its reporters will no longer cover cartel-related violence.
The reporter we spoke with says he's still going to try and keep the truth out there.
"I'm going to try to change something. I'm going to write about this what's happening, because I'm a journalist. I believe in that, and the sad part is, you can die for that and nothing will change," he says.