110 Scapegoat 6 Mexico DF / NAFTA Pulling Back ... 114 Scapegoat 6 Mexico DF / NAFTA 115 sale (such

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  • 111110 Scapegoat 6 Mexico DF / NAFTA


    1 See Marcelo Colussi, El narcot rá f ico : Un arma de l imper io (Buenos Aires: Argenpress 2010).

    2 Michel Chossudovsky, Guerra y g lobal i zac ión (México: Siglo XXI, 2002), 27. In Mexico, an important oil producer, income generated by drug trafficking in 2010 was three times as high as oil sales; four times higher than revenue from abroad, and seven times higher than income generated by tourism, according to data from the press and the authorities. 3 Ibid.

    4 Walter Laqueur, Una h is tor ia de l ter ror ismo (Barcelona: Paidós Ibérica, 2003), 315.

    5 Cases of guerrillas financed by the CIA are documented in Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Iran, Chechnya, Kosovo, during and after the Cold War, as part of the struggle for controlling locations considered to be strategic. See Chossudovsky, Guerra y g lobal i zac ión .

    6 Marc Augé, Diar io de guerra : E l mundo después de l 11 de sept iembre (Barcelona: Gedisa, 2002), 64–65.

    7 Some authors, like Alfonso Merlos, point out the increase of

    suicide attacks after 2001. See Alfonso Merlos, Al Qaeda, ra íces y metas de l ter ror g loba l (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, 2006).

    8 See Organizac ión de las Nac iones Unidas (ONU) Conse jo de Segur idad [United Nations, Security Council Resolution], S/RES/1566, 2004. Emphasis added.

    9 John Brown, “La definición del terrorismo: ¿Innovación jurídica o regreso a un pasado oscuro,” Redcienc í f i ca (2001): 7–9, http:// redcientifica. com/dos/ doc200111300002. html.

    10 La Jornada (Mexico), 22 December 2010.

    11 Mary Luz Sandoval, Diacr í t i ca de l ter ror (Bogotá: Tercer Mundo, 2007), 285.

    12 Públ ico (Madrid), 2 December 2010.

    13 María Cristina Rosas, ¿Pr ivat i zac ión o pr ivac ión de la segur idad? , Metapolítica 35 (2004): 89.

    13 These include Airscan, Blackwater, ISI Group, Cochise, OS&S, Centurion Risk, Triple Canopy, Titan, WWLR, CACI International, MZM, Vinnell, Dyncorp, Ronco, Group 4 Securicor, Combat Support, to name a few. See La Jornada (Mexico), 9 September 2007.

    14 “Who gets married in the middle of the desert?” asked general Mattis from the US Marine Corps, trying to undermine the fact that his forces had killed 41 people, including many children, at a wedding. La Jornada (Mexico), 21 May 2004.

    15 Between September and December 2010, the CIA committed 50 attacks of this kind in Pakistani territory. See Públ ico (Madrid), 22 December 2010.

    16 See ONU [UN], 2004.

    17 Anabel Hernández, Los señores de l narco (México: Planeta, 2010), 504.

    18 Ibid., 198.

    19 Eduardo Buscaglia, “En México, hasta 65% de las campañas están infiltradas por el crimen,” La Jornada , 28 July 2011.

    20 Ibid.

    21 See Eugenio Raúl Zaffaroni, “Gobalización y crimen organizado”, Sociedad Lat inoamer icana (2011), http://sociedad latinoamericana. bligoo.com/content/ view/1548008/G.

    22 La Jornada (Mexico), 4 August 2011.

    23 Hernández, Los señores de l narco , 363.

    24 Marcelo Bergman, “Cárceles en México: Un estado de situación,” CIDE (30 September 2004), 6.

    25 Ibid., 7.

    26 Centro de Invest igac ión y Desarro l lo de la Educac ión (C IDE) , De l incuenc ia , marg ina l idad y desempeño ins t i tuc iona l : Tercera encuesta a poblac ión en rec lus ión en e l D is t r i to Federa l y e l Es tado de México (Mexico: CIDE, 2010), 9–15.

    27 Ibid., 17.

    28 Secretar ía de Educac ión Públ ica , S is tema Peni tenc iar io Mexicano y educac ión para jóvenes y adul tos en los Centros de Readaptac ión Soc ia l (Mexico: SEP, 2010), 5, http:// www.redlece.org/ IMG/ppt/CENTROS_ DE_READAPTACION_ SOCIAL_EN_ MEXICO_2.ppt.

    29 Bergman, “Cárceles en México,” 18.

    30 CIDE, Del incuenc ia , marg ina l idad y desempeño ins t i tuc iona l , 29.

    31 Bergman, “Cárceles en México,” 11, 18.

    32 Ibid., 12.

    33 Ibid., 15

    34 Luis Astorga, “Entrevista a Mariusa

    Reyes,” BBC Mundo (4 November 2005), http://news.bbc. co.uk/hi/spanish/ specials/2005/ carceles/ newside_4377000 /4377278. stmBBCMUNDO.com.

    35 Bergman, “Cárceles en México,” 16.

    Will Straw

    Pulling Back From Apocalypse In two recent works of audiovisual documentary we see Mexican newspaper crime photo- graphers rushing to scenes of violence.1 John Dickie’s 2008 film El D iab lo y la nota ro ja , set in a southern Mexican city, focuses on the routines through which a small local newspaper covers violent crime. Its central character is an amiable, methodical reporter-photographer,

    followed as he drives from one crime scene to another during bright sunny days. Alarma! (2010), Vice Media’s 3-part online documentary about Mexico City’s longest-lasting crime news periodical, is noisier and more sensational, as its source might lead one to expect. Filmed mostly at night, it is filled with the sounds of police sirens and footage of photographers on motorcycles speeding along city streets.

    Both of these documentaries are from the very recent past, but each, in minor and slightly sinister ways, prompts a sense of nostalgia. For viewers from the Anglophone North, these films evoke an adventurous mid-twentieth- century print journalism long gone from

    their home countries. The continuing vitality of this journalism in Mexico is signalled by intense competition among newspapers, front- page photographs of dead bodies, and the mythologized bravado or ingenuity of news photographers. For visitors to Mexico City, this same nostalgia is often fueled by the discovery that a morbidly sensational press, delivered to consumers by an underclass of news-hawkers circulating precariously amidst the movement of cars and people, still exists somewhere on the North American continent. As they have for decades, and with virtually unbroken consistency, daily tabloid newspapers like El Gráf ico and La Prensa fill their front pages with images of one or more corpses lying on city streets. Perversely, this daily death imagery functions as reassuring proof that, somewhere, newspapers still have the capacity to interrupt everyday life with novel, startling content.

    Increasingly, however, the heroic photojournalism documented in El d iab lo y

    W ill

    S tr


    Pulling Back From Apocalypse

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    la nota ro ja and Alarma! seems like the residue of a quickly receding past in Mexico. These documentaries evoke a period before the carnage of the narco wars seemed to impose itself as the exclusive frame through which media images of death should be understood. As I shall argue in this essay, attempts to write about violent news photography in Mexico are caught between the assertion of that photography’s long tradition and the sense that violent news photography has become simply one more symptom of the climate of militarized violence that has spread throughout much of the country during the last decade. To set the violent imagery of the present within the “tradition” of Mexican photojournalism is to risk seeming oblivious to the distinctive contemporary circumstances in which it has flourished. At the same time, to insist on the brutal exceptionalism of present-day violent imagery is to deny the continuities of a profession and practice of social documentary

    as significant achievements of Mexican visual culture.

    The dilemma just described is captured astutely in a chapter title from a recent book by Marco Lara Klahr and Francesc Barata: “A concept in crisis: From the obsolete ‘nota roja’ to a journalism of public security and criminal justice.”2 The term nota ro ja (literally, “red note”) has been used for many years to designate sensational varieties of crime-oriented media in Mexico, from tabloid newspapers specializing in criminal violence through book-length compilations of true- crime narratives. Scholarly and fannish studies of nota ro ja have enumerated several of its key formal characteristics and traced their development through twentieth-century Mexican print culture: the interweaving of documentary realism and the fantastic within the popular crime-oriented press, the common juxtaposition of photographs and comic-book- like drawings, and the play of language in headlines and titles.3 If the pertinence of nota ro ja as a term is in crisis, as Klahr and Barata suggest, it is perhaps because it designates elements of genre and style rather than a socio-political referent. As such, the label risks

    appearing trivializing and inadequate, at least since the expansion of drug-related violence that marked the presidency of Felipe Calderón (2006–2012). The notion of a “journalism of public security and criminal justice” directs those studying Mexico’s crime-oriented press to focus on the country’s current political and

    economic challenges rather than on longer histories of media form.

    The Photojournalism of Violence and Tragedy

    On a trip to Mexico City in June 2013, I attended a public discussion at the Museo de Arte Moderno featuring Mexican news photographer Enrique Metinides (b. 1934). The occasion was the launch of a book titled, for its English edition, The 101 Tragedies o f Enr ique Met in ides . The photograp