Journalists silenced as cartels reach outskirts of Mexico City


New York, January 15, 2014–Organized crime has taken over Neza, a town on the outskirts of Mexico City, but journalists are not reporting on it because they fear for their lives, the late Mike O’Connor found in his final article for the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The piece, entitled “Gunmen Rule Neza and the Press on Outskirts of Mexico City,” shows how Mexico’s cartel violence, often portrayed as a provincial problem, has come to the capital. His investigation found that intimidation and corruption has forced journalists to keep silent about drug sales, kidnapping, and extortion, so that the Mexican public is largely unaware of the spread of these crimes to the doorstep of the country’s political, cultural, and intellectual power.

Mike O’Connor was CPJ’s Mexico representative. He died suddenly in late December at the age of 67. His article is part of a larger body of work, Attacks on the Press, published annually by CPJ. The complete 2014 edition of Attacks on the Press will be published in mid-February.

“Mike’s final piece for CPJ is a clear example of his outstanding skills as an investigative reporter and his deep understanding of the problems that Mexican journalists face in a climate of violence and censorship,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas.

The article is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.



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