Associated Press Implies Mexico Cartel Victims Had It Coming

The Associated Press (AP) is echoing Mexican authorities' characterization of cartel violence as something “they only do to each other,” implying victims have ties to the violent drug trade without offering compelling proof. 

The latest individuals hit by this assumption are young people kidnapped in broad daylight from "Heaven," a Mexico City nightclub. Suspects took twelve young men and women from the nightclub in May of this year, but the recent discovery of at least some of their bodies buried on a nearby ranch has renewed police and the public's interest in the tragedy. Mexican authorities say another cartel operative claimed the kidnappings and murders were retribution for the killing of a drug dealer.

AP uses the fact that the victims were from a bad neighborhood to reinforce the claims of Mexican authorities, a claim that benefits the Mexican government’s efforts to keep their shared border with the U.S. unsecured as Americans are told the cartel violence will not affect them. 

"Of the 12 victims, at least some had family ties to a Tepito gang," writes author Adriana Gomez Licon. She goes on to name two men among the victims whose fathers are in prison for involvement in organized crime. 

Gomez Licon fails to include any objection to the suggestion of guilt by association. In contrast, AFP's writeup of the same story states, "Relatives insist that none of the 12 missing were involved in criminal activities."

Such efforts are not new on the part of U.S. left-of-center media, which regularly frames stories to promote the Democratic Party, open borders, and amnesty for illegal immigrants. The AP also used the recent release of a Mexican cartel leader from prison to imply guilt on large swaths of cartel victims.

In that instance, Rafael Caro Quintero was released from prison after having killed a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent named Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985. The cartel leader reportedly even had a doctor administer drugs to keep the agent alive so that he could torture him further.

In the prior AP article, author Michael Weissenstein specifically wrote: “Tens of thousands of Mexicans have died, and dozens of Americans have been killed in cartel-related violence, often because of ties to people involved in drug trafficking.” He also declared, “assassinating U.S. law-enforcement agents remains a taboo for most Mexican organized crime, as does the deliberate targeting of Americans with no ties to the drug war.”

The claims of cartel violence being mostly contained between drug dealers seem highly dubious in light of the sheer numbers of Mexican citizens being killed; the high number of immigrant workers who pay to be transported into the U.S., only to end up buried in mass graves in Northern Mexico; and the high number of journalists who have been slain for daring to report on the violence.

While Mexican authorities have a self-interest to protect their country's image by claiming most cartel victims are themselves criminals, the Associated Press has a duty to handle those claims with some level of skepticism. By failing to print protestations of innocence—even from family members of the deceased—these reporters prove themselves apathetic toward pursuing truth.


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