ournalist Manuel Torres González (courtesy borderlandbeat.com)

Republished with permission from borderlandbeat.com:

Journalist Manuel Torres González, 45, was shot in the head from behind on May 14 after leaving state offices in the city of Poza Rica in northern Veracruz, as reported by Milenio, citing the Attorney General of Veracruz. Torres was a collaborator with the city council of Poza Rica and a reporter and editor-in-chief of news site Noticias MT.  It was in this city where governor Javier Duarte, on two occasions, told journalists to “behave well,” because “there are a lot of rotten apples” and “we are going to shake the tree so hard that many will fall,” a threatening allegation that reporters were complicit with organized crime, yet to date the administration has not pursued legal action against a single journalist for “behaving poorly.” Animal Político pointed out that the statement from the Attorney General of Veracruz, in which it said the Prosecutor of the Northern Region of Poza Rica was investigating the case, did not . . .

identify Torres as a communicator or journalist. In a May 16 article about Torres’ funeral, Noreste published the following: “Although the Attorney General of the State ignored Torres’ profession, colleagues confirmed his journalistic activity, exercised for more than a decade. His work was recognized by everyone, including officials and former officials who were present [at his funeral].” He was married with two children.

Noreste said Torres had also worked as a reporter and correspondent for Noreste, TV Azteca, Tukulama, Agencia Imagen del Golfo, Diario de Poza Rica and El Mundo de Poza Rica, while Milenio mentioned outlets including MN Nuestras Noticias, Radio Digital  and Radio Ver.

A kind of final sendoff for their former colleague, the newspaper wrote: “Manuel Torres González was buried in the Holy Trinity cemetery, but his memory will remain in the hearts of his loved onesand his journalistic legacy in the recognition of his colleagues, who demand that the wave of violence cease and the case is solved.”

Many friends and colleagues posted notes of remembrance on Torres’ Facebook Wall, referring to him as a “prominent reporter,” “great friend” and “teacher.”

The State Commission for Attention and Protection to Journalists (CEAPP for its initials in Spanish) has condemned his murder. Martín de Jesús García, an organization commissioner, said there hadn’t been a history or application for protection from Torres, according to Noreste.

On Twitter, Article 19 Mexico urged that the Attorney General of Veracruz “exhaust, as the main line of research, the journalistic work in the murder of Manuel Torres González.”

The freedom of expression organization recently reported that from January to March 2016, there were 69 attacks against the press in the country with a majority (17) having occurred in Veracruz. It noted that this is part of a continuing pattern for the state.

Numerous outlets reported that Torres is either the 16th or 18th journalist to be killed while Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte has been in office. Duarte and his administration have been criticized for their treatment of journalists and perceived failures to protect them.

The governor signed the “State of Veracruz System of Early Warning” on Nov. 2, 2015 to defend journalists in the state, but critics claimed it was for publicity.

In its 2015 annual report on violation against the press in Mexico, Article 19 said “Veracruz is the geographic area on the continent that is most dangerous for journalists.”

Following the 2015 death of journalist in Veracruz, Carlos Lauría, senior program coordinator for the Americas for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said, “authorities have long sought to downplay the risks to journalists in Veracruz.”

Torres is the sixth journalist murdered this year in Mexico. The latest murder was that of Francisco Pacheco Beltrán on April 25 in Guerrero.

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15 Responses to Another Mexican Journalist Gunned Down: This is What Happens to a Disarmed Populace

      • No. A Couric is an accepted unit of measure and we should not dilute it by nicknaming her anything else. 1 Katie Couric is the equivalent of 2.5lbs of human excrement. I took a Katie this morning. It had to be nearly 3 Courics in mass. One of my best ever. Nowhere near the record of 80 Courics currently held by Bono, the largest contiguous chunk of human excrement on the planet, but still a remarkable achievement for someone subsisting on Ramen noodles and Mountain Dew.

  1. In order for the people of Mexico to defend themselves and fight back, they first have to know who they are fighting. This does not seem to be clear at all.

    Furthermore, it is next to impossible to defend yourself from an unknown enemy who can casually stroll up behind you and then stick a knife in your lung or shoot you in the head — from behind of course.

    Being armed doesn’t really do any good in those circumstances. So how are the good people of Mexico supposed to overcome the evil in their midst? I wish I had an answer.

    • True, true. The Policia, Federales, and the rest of the “law enforcement” types are on the plato o plumo plan – which translated is “silver or lead”.

      This is what happens when there is a metric f-ton of money to be made moving a product that people want, that some government has declared “illegal”. We did it with alcohol too, look how well that turned out.

    • Respectfully, that’s crap.

      On the individual level, you’re right. It is possible for a motivated individual to execute a carefully planned assassination against you, and you might not see it coming.

      On a community level, when that assassin is shot to death by the nearest armed bystander, his chances of becoming a repeat offender drop to zero. That means the drug boss starts running out of troops, as fewer and fewer volunteer to be sicarros when people are likely to shoot back.

      Back to the individual level, enforcer level criminals are typically extremely uneducated, and not terribly bright. They rely on violence of action and the bystander effect, having little to no value for tactics or skill. They are NOT highly trained assassins, and most of their assassinations are direct and obvious to someone who’s remotely alert.

      There’s a reason these types of assassinations are extremely rare north of the border – the risk/return equation doesn’t pay off. People shoot back, other people call the police because they know their neighbors can protect them. Corrupt cops are rare because they DON’T have a monopoly on force, and journalists (for all their warts) know they are collectively safe from reprisals when they run a story on crime or corruption.

      • What you are describing is a “war of attrition” strategy … which is fine since all wars are ultimately wars of attrition.

        There are three key elements to what you laid out:
        (1) A LOT of people have to be armed in public … a lot more than the 1 in 20 or so who are armed in public in the United States right now.
        (2) Armed bystanders have to be able to see an assassination (see enough to clearly know that the attacker was indeed an attacker and not a righteous defender) and be willing to jump into the fray.
        (3) The henchmen have to continue using stupid tactics that guarantee their demise at the hands of armed bystanders who witness their assassination/s.

        Having all three of those elements come together is a very tall order. Unfortunately, I don’t see any other way.

        By the way, with respect to element number (1), my guess is that you would need something like 1 out of every 4 adults to be armed in public in order to have a decent probability that armed bystanders could ventilate assassins when they attack.

  2. If the people of Mexico are to lead a happy life, Mexico City and Washington DC need to be fumigated.

  3. Coruption and especially bribery are so ingrained in thier culture it is impossible for honesty and justice to take hold. There’s no government, military, or law enforcement thatcan be counted on to be honest.

    • Sounds like a great candidate for America’s next “Democracy Project”!

      Seriously, if we can justify turning a series of backwater countries on the other side of the world into militarized parking lots, you KNOW it would take one press conference to justify an invasion of Mexico… for the children, or the national securities, or whatever.

      • America’s national security interests are being well maintained by keeping Mexico exactly how it is.

        • SOMEBODY’s interests are being served, but I very seriously doubt its U.S. National Security’s.

          Having a wild-wild west marketplace of military weapons, drugs, smuggling, black market logistical support, and do-anything-if-the-price-is-right criminal organizations right on a huge and nearly completely unsecured border is NOT in our Security’s best interest.

          I won’t throw any specific accusations, but I will point out that the groups that a profiting wildly from these conditions are:

          -Political parties that pander to illegal immigrants as voters
          -Businesses that pander to illegal immigrants as a source of cheap labor
          -Groups that try to use the bloodshed as a justification for civilian disarmament.
          -The private prison system, military contractors, lobbyists, and politicians that are swimming in money because of the “War on Drugs”.
          -The drug cartels. Thanks to the aforementioned war on drugs they now own Mexico. Nuff said.

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