The announcement to stop coverage of the drug cartels and other organized crime organizations came days after signs and banners threatening the newspaper appeared in the region. The signs and banners threatened the journalists and staff with retribution, including death, if they continued reporting on the operations of the cartels. The threats are believed to be from the Zetas cartel.
Zocalo is only the latest newspaper to make the decision to stop covering drug violence in the border region. The paper, printed in Saltillo, Coahuila, maintains a staff of over 1,000 people. The safety of the employees was the main reason given for ending the coverage.
Zocalo and other newspapers have reason to fear the cartels. Since 2001, 127 journalists have been killed covering the war between the cartels and the Mexican government. The United States provided asylum for journalist Jorge Luis Aguirre in 2010 following years of death threats for his coverage of the violent gangs operating in Northern Mexico.
The clash between the government and the cartels has raged for over a decade with no end in sight. Violence has reached into the United States as the gangs move drugs and murder across the border and back with impunity. The National Guard has been posted to the border in Arizona and Texas.
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