The Associated Press (AP) is echoing Mexican authorities’ characterization of cartel violence as something “they onlydo to each other,” implying victims have ties to the violent drug trade without offering compelling proof.
The latest individuals hit by this assumption are youngpeople kidnapped in broad daylight from “Heaven,” a Mexico Citynightclub. 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 badneighborhood to reinforce the claims of Mexican authorities, a claimthat benefits the Mexican government’s efforts to keep their sharedborder 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. TheAP 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 aU.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent named Enrique “Kiki”Camarena in 1985. The cartel leader reportedly even had a doctoradminister drugs to keep the agent alive so that he could torture himfurther.
In the prior AP article, author Michael Weissenstein specifically wrote: “Tens ofthousands of Mexicans have died, and dozens of Americans have beenkilled in cartel-related violence, often because of ties to peopleinvolved 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 drugwar.”
The claims of cartel violence being mostly contained between drugdealers seem highly dubious in light of the sheer numbers of Mexicancitizens being killed; the high number of immigrant workers who pay tobe transported into the U.S., only to end up buried in mass graves inNorthern Mexico; and the high number of journalists who have been slainfor 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.