Attacks on Journalists / Drug Seizures
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Attacks on Journalists / Drug Seizures

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Paloma Duran By Paloma Duran | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Tue, 07/25/2023 - 12:30

Attacks on Journalists. Luis Rodríguez, Minister of Security and Defense, highlighted that three journalists have been assassinated in 2023.

Nineteen journalists were murdered in 2022, making Mexico one of the deadliest countries to practice journalism. While the government claims that only three journalists have been killed in 2023, the organization Article 19 stresses that five journalists have been murdered. The most recent cases are those of the journalists Nelson Matus Peña and Luis Martin Sánchez Iñiguez. Matus was director of the news portal Lo Real de Guerrero and was assassinated on July 15. Meanwhile, Sánchez was a correspondent for La Jornada in Tepic. He disappeared for three days and was later found dead with a cardboard carton, linking his murder to his work.

Drug Crisis.  National Guard Commander David Cordova Campos said that from July 11-24, 1,732kg of fentanyl and 148.173kg of methamphetamine have been seized.

Fentanyl represents one of the most critical healthcare issues for Mexico and the US, becoming a key discussion topic for both countries. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), fentanyl is a synthetic opioid considered to be 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin and 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. In 2021, there were approximately 70,000 deaths in the US related to fentanyl and in 2022, fentanyl deaths accounted for 66% percent of drug-related deaths in that country. With the price of fentanyl being at its lowest, consumption is increasing in Mexico and the US, according to authorities. According to the latest government report, as of June 27 the government has seized 7,565.5 kg of fentanyl. 

Recently, Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell said that methamphetamine addiction is a major public health issue in Mexico. Methamphetamines are highly addictive synthetic stimulants that affect the brain and other parts of the body. They are similar to amphetamines, which are used to treat hyperactivity and sleep disorders. Methamphetamines have been the top high-impact drug since 2018, surpassing alcohol. 

Chocolate Cars. The Minister of Security and Citizen Protection, Rosa Icela Rodríguez, pointed out that 17 states have benefited from the “chocolate car” program and that 1,653,440 vehicles have been regularized.

Recently, Rodríguez announced that the program t will be extended three more months. While the initiative was initially set to expire on Dec. 31, it was first extended to June 30, 2023 in Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa and Zacatecas, among other states.

Photo by:   Gobierno de México

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