If you’ve forgotten, over at The New York Review of Books, novelist Alma Guillermoprieto is here to remind you that drug-related violence is still alive and strong in Mexico.
She examines the long and growing list of journalist killings in Mexico. The almighty drug-trafficking group the Zetas is the enemy behind many of these deaths. They dole out bribes so that journalists will write government press releases as if they are news stories:
It is hard to determine how immoral the chayote might seem to Mexictan reporters, given that the practice was institutionalized by their own government. Not to accept a bribe or emolument from an official can be seen as a hostile act—a threat, almost. Few editors or publishers can be counted on to stand behind a reporter who refuses to play by the rules. Even fewer pay a living wage. (In the state of Tabasco, where the Zetas are powerful, the enterprising Salvadoran journalist Oscar Martínez found out that reporters are paid 60 pesos—about $5—per story.)