While the U.S. Government and media are fixated on a narrow strip of land in northern Syria, they strangely ignore the violent tumult much closer to home just across the southern border where drug cartels continue to destroy Mexico and poison America. This is not news?
The cartels have once again shown who’s boss in Mexico. Under U.S. prodding, Mexican soldiers were sent to capture Ovidio Guzman, son of Joaquin Guzman – El Chapo – head of the powerful Sinaloa cartel who has recently been given a life sentence in the U.S. on the mistaken assumption that his removal will weaken his organization. No such thing. Given the amount of money involved he is easily replaced, and business goes on as usual.
Still his capture made good headlines and the same was expected in the case of his son. But the headlines this time reported that the army was no match for Sinaloa. As soon as Ovidio was cornered by the troops in the modern city of Culiacan, convoys of cartel gunmen suddenly appeared, shooting everything in sight. With the city ablaze and panicked, the troops had enough and surrendered Ovidio to the cartel. Another victory for Sinaloa, which seldom loses in this continuing war. Mexican President Lopez Obrador admitted he had underestimated his adversary.
To be sure, this incident, while noteworthy, is only one of an endless series of violent clashes leading to a record number of murders this year. In contrast to Americans, Mexican journalists try to report cartels activities, resulting in the killing of twelve so far in 2019. A couple of days before the Ovidio affair, forty-two police in five trucks were ambushed by the Jalisco cartel with thirteen officers killed and nine wounded. As usual, the gunmen got away.
If this isn’t the stuff of journalism, what is? Apparently, the six mega companies that control the American media have passed along the word – don’t bother with Mexico, and the journalists who work for them dutifully comply. So it’s off to Syria and other distant places of no particular concern to the national interest. Is fear a factor? Quite possibly. The cartels ordinarily don’t want to harm Americans – bad for business – but they have a long reach, and the bosses are increasingly coming to live in America to direct their operations. A nudge at a nervous news executive would probably suffice.
Then there’s money – an estimated 60 billion dollars a year in cartel earnings in the U.S. Most is laundered back to Mexico, but billions stay here and circulate to interested parties. Can the media, strapped for cash, be among them? Some note that Mexico’s richest man, billionaire Carlos Slim, is the second largest shareholder in the New York Times. A few years back, he came to the rescue of the newspaper with a $250 million loan. No one with this wealth stays alive in Mexico without making some accommodation with the cartels. Must the Times make some accommodation with him – say a little less coverage of goings-on in Mexico?