Mexican federal police on patrol in Reynosa in 2008. The government security presence in the area has significantly waned in recent months.
Violence in the Mexican border town of Reynosa has endangered both the lives of its citizens as well as the quality of its journalism. Fearing violent reprisal, many journalists have left, while others are admittedly censoring themselves after being threatened by the drug cartels.
Despite the media retreat, many Reynosa citizens have taken it upon themselves to document the violence, shooting videos and taking pictures with their cell phones. —JCL
The New York Times:
The big philosophical question in this gritty border town does not concern trees falling in the forest but bodies falling on the concrete: Does a shootout actually happen if the newspapers print nothing about it, the radio and television stations broadcast nothing, and the authorities never confirm that it occurred?
As two powerful groups of drug traffickers engaged in fierce urban combat in Reynosa in recent weeks, the reality that many residents were living and the one that the increasingly timid news media and the image-conscious politicians portrayed were difficult to reconcile.
“You begin to wonder what the truth is,” said one of Reynosa’s frustrated and fearful residents, Eunice Peña, a professor of communications. “Is it what you saw, or what the media and the officials say? You even wonder if you were imagining it.”