The Washington Post takes a look today at the growing danger for journalists covering the drug cartels in Mexico.

The story is based in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Tex., but highlights the struggle for journalists throughout the country to report all the information they know about the cartels.

From the story:

Editors at many newspapers and television stations now say they no longer deeply investigate the cartels or attempt to plot the intersecting lines of corruption and cash between the drug traffickers and their partners in government, business and law enforcement. News directors insist that organized crime in Mexico now employs all the tools of terrorism — violence, threats, sophisticated use of media — to create an atmosphere of fear and impunity.

“I am the first to recognize that this situation is intolerable,” Chihuahua state Attorney General Patricia Gonz‡lez said in a statement promising to find Rodr’guez’s killer. Yet the police have arrested no suspects, and none of the journalists interviewed here expect the case to be solved. Rodr’guez was not robbed. His editor calls the killing “an assassination.”

Reporters along the border say they are routinely threatened in phone calls, e-mails and on Internet comment boards. Many times, the journalists say, they know who is calling but dare not report the warnings to authorities for fear their complaints will be passed to cartel enforcers, who include former and current military and police officers. Many say their families beg them to find other work, or cover sports, business or society news.

SAM HODGSON

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