Mexicans want the head of the controversial top war drug official, while journalist claims that he plans to kill her
Journalist, Anabel Hernandez (Photo: San Diego Red)
Around 150 thousands protesters turn out in Mexico City’s main square “El Zócalo” on Sunday May 8th after a four day march that began in the city of Cuernavaca, 90 kilometers south of Mexico city to demonstrate against the drug gang violence that has stirred up since President Felipe Calderon’s administration began its offensive to crackdown the drug cartels on December 2006 and that has claimed the lives of 40.000 people in the last 4 and half years.
This national mass demonstration was the second in a month called by the Mexican poet, Javier Sicilia, after his son Juan Francisco, 24, was murdered along with four close friends on March 28th in Temixco, a nearby town from Cuernavaca.
Some of the demands given in the rally in “El Zócalo”, is the setback of the current drug war strategy and advance in an alternative security model; solve the murders, disappearance, clandestine mass graves; fight against corruption and impunity within the law enforcement institution and advance in oral trials; fight money laundering and the resignation of the Public Safety Secretary, Genaro García Luna, this latter, Javier Sicilia assures that is to “avoid more violence”, becuase Mr. Garcia Luna is pushing to establish a police state, while the Mexican society is urging a state of law.
"Peace" Photo taken by: Gabriel Infante
It’s was no surprise that this last demand was well received among the attendees due to the questionable reputation of the Public Safety Secretary, which carries a long list of corruption scandals, alleged links with the organized crime — the number one enemy of the Mexican State, reason why the country was turned into a battle field — protecting policemen with criminal records, as well as its questionable procedures for conducting police investigation, we must not forget that he was the mastermind of the illgal stage TV arrest of the Frenchwoman, Florence Cassez and her controversial and tangled case, as well as other kidnapping cases such as the three indigenous women, Jacinta, Alberta and Teresa, falsely accused of kidnapping six police agents of the former Federal Agency of Investigation (AFI) and the Atenco crackdown, just to mentioned a few.
As it was to be expected, the demand that Genero Garcia Luna should resign or be removed from his current post as Public Safety Secretary wasn’t well received by the Mexican government and inmmediately backed the controversial government official by praising his work and the so called progess made so far in his administration. Alejandro Poiré Romero, Technical Secretary of National Security Council, added that Genaro García Luna is committed to professionalize the police. The líder of the ruling party PAN, Gustavo Madero said that “There is no need to have a scapegoat to solve the problem of insecurity, for that, we should close ranks and the three branches of goverment should join together.” It’s kind of ironic and cynical these statements, because what Genaro Garcia Luna has been doing since he was director of the former Federal Agency of Investigation (AFI) was precisely that, create scapegoats, staging rescue operations, manipulating and creating false cases to push his poltical career.
Journalist under death threat by the man in charge of Mexico’s security
Previous to the national peace demonstration, the Mexican journalist and National Journalism Award 2002, Anabel Hernández, once again denounced publicly the death threats she and her family has been receiving since the publication of her most recent book “Los Señores del Narco” (The Drug Lords) back in December of last year and claims that she has precise information that Genaro García Luna is behind these threats and that he is determined to kill her. During the forum “Impunity as a limitation of freedom of press and democratic gobernability in the XXI century”, organized by the United Nations representation in Mexico and by the Mexican Senate. The journalist gave her testinmony and urged for security garantees so she can continue to do her job and asked for the solidarity from her collegues. She also responded harshly to the questionings and requests from the NGOs for the protection of journalists to show hard evidences that proves that the Public Safety Secretary is planning to kill her, by raising the question, what kind of evidence do they want, my dead body?
Is more then evident that Anabel Hernández has become a very uncomfortable journalist to Genaro García Luna, for her in-depth investigations that has unvail his links and of his right hand man, Luis Cardenas Palomino with the drug cartels and kidnapping gangs. There is no doubt that he is capable to do anything to protect his interests and to gain more power. We’ve saw it in the case of Florence Cassez, in which he is determined to keep her in prison, despite that the charges against her are getting weaker and weaker. So, I simply don’t understand why the NGOs still doubt Anabel Hernandez’s claims, one of the few most independent journalist with high credibility in Mexico, in times when the majority of the media outlets have become part of the State propaganda machinery. The Calderon administration is determine to convince the Mexican society at all cost that they are winning the drug war up to the point to try to brain wash the average Mexicans with a soap opera that extol the Federal Police’s efficiency to fight the organized crime, which apprently the office that Mr. Garcia Luna runs invested, according to the weekly magazine Proceso, $150 millions Mexican pesos ($12,776, 831.35 USD), but that will be a topic for a coming post.
Cover photo: Public Safety Secretary, Genaro Garcia Luna (eleconomista.com.mx)