Mexico Gov’t Rejects Call for Truce in Drug War

Mexico’s government has scoffed at the idea of a truce in the country’s raging drug war as a Ciudad Juarez newspaper pleaded with drug cartels after one of its photographers was slain.

“It simply is not appropriate in any way shape or form, for any party to try to make agreements with, promote a truce with, or negotiate with criminals,” said Alejandro Poire, spokesman for security matters for President Felipe Calderon.

“We ask you to explain what you want from us, what you want us to publish or stop publishing,” a cowed El Diario de Juarez wrote in a front-page editorial in calling for a truce.

Unidentified gunmen attacked two El Diario photographers Thursday, shooting dead 21-year-old Luis Carlos Santiago and leaving Carlos Sanchez seriously wounded. Santiago was the second journalist from El Diario killed in less than two years.

“You are the de facto authority in the city now,” the editorial said, referring to warring drug cartels that have killed over 2,000 people in Ciudad Juarez alone so far this year, despite the presence of some 4,500 federal police and military.

Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists, according to rights groups.

More than 30 journalists have been killed or gone missing as violence has surged since Calderon launched a military crackdown on organized crime in 2006, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Some 28,000 people are believed to have died in drug gang-related attacks since then.

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The spike in violence has caused many newspapers to censor coverage of the brutal drug war, sometimes omitting the names of cartels or ignoring certain attacks.

The Sinaloa and Juarez cartels are engaged in a bitter fight for control of this city of 1.3 million across the border from El Paso, Texas, one of the main points of entry for illegal drugs into the United States.

– Article from AFP.