HomeNewsBriefReporters Give Advice, Get Money from Mexico Cartel: Video
BRIEF

Reporters Give Advice, Get Money from Mexico Cartel: Video

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 22 SEP 2014 BY DAVID GAGNE AND STEVEN DUDLEY EN

Two journalists in the Pacific Coast state of Michoacan received money from the leader of the Knights Templar drug cartel for presumably giving advice about what communications strategy the group should employ, demonstrating the sometimes nefarious connection between journalists and the criminal subjects they cover. 

In a video (below) released by Aristegui Noticias, Televisa's then-Michoacan correspondent Eliseo Caballero and Jose Luis Diaz Perez, the owner of the news agency Esquema, are shown taking money from Servando Gomez, alias  "La Tuta," at the end of a meeting in which the three discuss ways to keep the head of the Knights Templar cartel in the media spotlight.

"No one wants to come to our side," Tuta tells the journalists at one point, referring to his inability to tell his side of the story.

"No, no," Caballero responds. "It's like I told you the last time. If you put up a banner, the banner for us is a source of information." 

The journalists later received "bill after bill," Arestegui Noticias said.

In an interview following the release of the video, Perez claimed that the money from La Tuta was related to his work as a journalist. On September 22, Televisa announced that it ended Caballero's contract with the news company.

InSight Crime Analysis

The video presents the unsettling reality that some journalists have been corrupted into working with criminal groups such as the Knights Templar. The quid pro quo in this case seems to have come in the form of advice about a media strategy, but it can also come from favorable coverage, ignoring certain events or writing about rival groups. 

This dilemma is magnified given the high level of insecurity facing reporters that cover organized crime in the region. Numerous news outlets in Mexico -- considered one of the most dangerous places to be a journalist -- have stopped reporting on organized crime because they cannot guarantee the safety of their reporters.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

This reality makes the job of those sorting through the threats and deaths of journalists that much harder. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says 30 reporters have been killed since 1992, 80 percent of which covered crime. 

The video also illustrates how control of just one news agency can influence reporting of many others. In its report, Aristegui Noticias says Diaz specialized in security; his work was widely used and cited in numerous publications and radio stations across the state.   

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

GENDER AND CRIME / 21 SEP 2022

Accused drug trafficker Sandra Ávila Beltrán is demanding she be paid royalties for the “Queen of the South” Netflix series.

JALISCO CARTEL / 9 JUL 2021

A series of photos taken in a Mexican town, that has been the focal point of major criminal engagements this…

EL CHAPO / 23 FEB 2021

The indictment of the wife of convicted Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera has revealed her alleged role…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…