Two of the most respected independent publications in Mexico have acknowledged the effort made by Breitbart Texas to recruit citizen journalists in order to report on the daily violence along the Mexican northern border in a series called Cartel Chronicles.
Mexico’s Proceso Magazine and Sin Embargo.mx have recently both published stories about the efforts made by Breitbart Texas to shed light on the escalating violence in the northern part of the country which is hardly ever reported by Mexican local news outlets since drug cartels and Mexican politicians have a history of silencing them.
In their articles both Proceso and Sin Embargo.mx talk about how Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby and Investigative Journalist Ildefonso Ortiz traveled to various border cities in Mexico to recruit citizen journalist who have resorted to social media. Using Twitter and Facebook, citizen journalists in those areas have filled a void left behind by local news outlets that have been muffled.
The stories by the Mexican publications refer to information from Article 19, a nongovernmental organization that fights for freedom of the press in Mexico and has documented more than 50 attacks with explosives of firearms on Mexican news outlets with Tamaulipas being one of the states with the highest number of attacks on journalists.
“It is very exciting to have such publications in Mexico discuss Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles,” said Darby. “It shows that the effort is truly beyond politics and has nothing to do with Republican versus Democrat or Left versus Right. It is about liberty and the protection of journalists.”
“I think Andrew Breitbart would be proud to know that such an effort to support citizen journalists against the most extreme cases of bullying is occurring in the company that bears his name,” Darby explained. “These cartel bullies can’t stand to be focused on by media. In fact, media attention is one of the few things that can truly shut them down and prevent them from terrorizing people.”
“As U.S. based journalists,” Darby concluded, “we are in a unique position to help people in some parts of northern Mexico along our southern border.”
Despite the escalating violence in Mexico previously reported on by Breitbart Texas, the federal and state governments in Mexico have taken part in a systemic effort to downplay the violence and paint the region in a positive light.
“This project is not about politics. It is about bringing attention to a forgotten part of Mexico where law abiding citizens are forced to live in fear while criminals continue to roam free and the government paints an false image of security and prosperity,” said Ildefonso Ortiz. “Having lived through various firefights in Mexico that went on for hours, I have personally witnessed how the government has worked hard to minimize the violence by calling those gun battles ‘isolated incidents’ or simply ignoring scenes of urban warfare in the city streets.”
“It was with outrage that I would read a one or two-line news release the following day claiming that one or two bystanders were injured by stray bullets when I had personally seen the a number of bodies littered around the streets,” Ortiz explained. “This information void is exactly we we sought to give a voice to. Breitbart Texas is providing a voice and protection to those who are the most vulnerable.”
Both Mexican publications have a long history of independent journalism where, unlike many of Mexico’s outlets, they don’t cater to the whims of the political elite. For years Proceso and Sin Embargo.mx have actually targeted the corrupt dealings within the Mexican government. According to their multiple articles, the governments are filled with corruption. At the same time these governments are trying to paint a false image of prosperity and peace.
“It is a great honor that two of the leading independent publications in Mexico have acknowledged our work,” Ortiz stated. “Both Proceso and Sin Embargo.mx have distinguished themselves as true watchdogs in a country where mainstream outlets such as Televisa and TV Azteca seek to keep the political elite happy and the public distracted with gossip and propaganda.”