HomeNewsBriefMexican Govt to Stop Media Parade of Drug Suspects
BRIEF

Mexican Govt to Stop Media Parade of Drug Suspects

HUMAN RIGHTS / 24 JAN 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

The Mexican government has announced a new low-key press strategy regarding detained drug trafficking suspects, breaking away from the former administration's tactic of parading them in front of the media.

President Enrique Peña Nieto's communications team announced that suspects will now be identified using their real names rather than aliases, and the authorities will no longer arrange press photographs of detainees before trials. They will also end the practice of publishing the name of the criminal organization that a suspect allegedly belongs to.

Officials added that media must not broadcast the detention or presentation of suspected criminals, as to do so violates Article 63 of the Federal Radio and Television Law, which prohibits "apology for violence or crime."

The government's list of the 37 most-wanted criminals, which gives their aliases and cartel affiliations, will also be changed.

Government representative Eduardo Sanchez Hernandez told news agency Notimex, "We will report in a neutral tone and refer to the suspects by their first and last names, like any other citizen."

InSight Crime Analysis

The Mexican government's new strategy marks a departure from the controversial approach of the former administration, in line with Peña Nieto's stated intention to break away from his predessor's "reactionary" security strategy to focus on violence prevention.

Former President Felipe Calderon's policy of parading suspected criminals before the press had been criticized by both Mexican politicians and international observers for glorifying crime and failing to meet human rights standards on the treatment of detainees.

As one congressman commented last year, setting up press conferences in which alleged drug bosses posed for cameras in front of weapons, cash and drugs, can give suspects kudos and create false heroes for young people.

In a 2011 report, US-based campaign group Human Rights Watch warned that Mexico's justice system "often presumes suspects are guilty until proven innocent, rather than requiring the prosecution to present solid evidence" -- a violation of international human rights law.

The report documented the torture, extrajudicial killing and disappearance of crime suspects by security forces, who were found to be abusing civilians under the cover of the Calderon administration's "war" on drugs. The new government's change of policy is thus welcome news, albeit a small step.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 8 JUL 2011

At least seven people have been killed in the western Mexico state of Michoacan in battles between the federal…

INFOGRAPHICS / 26 AUG 2013

Reports by US authorities that Mexican cartels have a presence in more than 1,000 US cities were widely exaggerated,…

EUROPE CRIME / 3 JUN 2012

A ten-year investigation by Italian authorities into the nation’s drug trafficking networks offers a glimpse into the Italian mafia’s links…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…