Paramilitary Drug Gang PR Flacks Finally Get Their Public Image Under Control

Public Domain image of Colt AR-15 Tactical Carbine by Stagg1500, via Wikipedia.

Does good press really come from the barrel of an AR-15?

Or is that just Silicon Valley?

In an analysis piece in the Global Post, Mike O’Connor says newspaper editors in Mexico are being forced to run press releases for Los Zetas, the US-trained paramilitary splinter group of the Gulf Cartel that is now vying with other gangs for absolute control of Mexico’s drug smuggling rackets.

Relating the experience of newspaper editor Martha Lopezin Ciudad Victoria, capital of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, O’Connor writes:

It’s the first time such a formal arrangement is known to be at work in Mexico. Journalists at the other three main papers in Ciudad Victoria — the capital of Tamaulipas state, across from Texas in the northeast corner of Mexico — confirmed her account.

In many parts of Mexico, organized crime and drug cartels have been able to terrorize journalists in local or regional news organizations into not running stories the criminals don’t want the public to know about. Reporters who try are threatened or murdered.

So, in much of the country, newspapers, TV and radio stations have just stopped covering stories that even hint about how organized crime is taking over.

The difference in the accounts of Lopez and other Victoria reporters is that newspapers are being coerced through violence not just into publishing positive articles on Los Zetas — but actually using press releases. O’Connor quotes Lopez in saying that they come by email and include PR photos, with thoroughly transparent content…(READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON TECHYUM).

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