Mexican Senator: Destroy all fences

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The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican and Central and South American on-line media sources on a daily basis. You are free to disseminate this information, but we request that you credit NAFBPO as being the provider.

Wednesday, 11/18/09

El Sol de Mexico (Mexico City) 11/17/09 [Also in dozens of other papers of this chain]

Mexican senator: destroy all fences – full transl. –

PRD (pol. party) Senator Pablo Gomez Alvarez, who said he was for the destruction of fences on national borders, stated that the construction of fences to divide territorial limits represents acts of xenophobia, of superiority and of rejection to what is different. The legislator from the Distrito Federal explained that various fences have been built between countries in the course of history to avoid the risk of immigrants, illnesses, wars, and contraband, among others; nevertheless, this has demonstrated “that the physical borders are insufficient to undermine peoples, nor their desire to prosper and forge ahead.”

Pablo Gomez stated that, 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the world is still divided due to the installation of structures which separate “families, peoples and countries.” Nevertheless, he emphasized that “what causes us the most pain” is the decision of the American government to protect one third of its border with Mexico, to prevent the entrance of undocumented immigrants. Because of this, he requested the Senate of the Republic to urge the United Nations Organization, by means of its General Assembly, to approve a mandate that would require the destruction of the fences that divide countries, cities and continents, and that it prohibit their possible construction.

Lastly, he commented that the building of divisions has aggravated sentiments of xenophobia, of nationalistic superiority, of rejection to what is different; principles which sought to be extinct during the years after the World War II. Gomez Alvarez ended, “We must learn from the errors of the past century, the consequences of the Second World War, the creation of false borders, the division of countries and continents by the winners of a long and devastating war.”


El Debate (Culiacan, Sinaloa) 11/17/09

Mexico’s corruption ranking worsens

Transparency International is a civil organization which measures the levels of corruption in 180 countries around the world. Countries are assigned a numerical value from 1, that representing the highest level of corruption, up to 10, representing the least level. Last year, Mexico was in the 72nd place among the 180 countries ranked; it has now fallen 17 places (to the 89th) and scored a 3.3; other low scoring Latin American countries were Guatemala (3.4), Peru and Colombia (both 3.7)


Diario Xalapa (Xalapa, Veracruz) 11/17/09

Alien smuggling

A truck loaded with children’s furniture ended up abandoned on the side of the road when it lost a wheel while northbound on the highway from Mexico City to Pachuca, state of Hidalgo. The driver fled. There were also 28 illegal aliens hidden under the truck’s false bottom. The 20 males and 8 females aiming to reach the United States were all from Guatemala and Honduras. Mexican federal police reports that 600 undocumented aliens were located in October at various control points around the country.


El Diario (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 11/17/09

Ho-hum in Juarez

This item was found buried in the seventh place of a secondary listing of local events in Juarez: “Seven assassinated yesterday.” A cursory digest of those murders then followed.


Prensa Libre (Guatemala City, Guatemala) 11/17/09

Guatemalan deportation numbers

Guatemala’s Migration Agency reported today that 24,296 Guatemalans who were in the United States illegally have now been deported this year. The number for November reached 931. According to Guatemala’s Chancery (equiv. Dep’t. of State), there are 1.2 million Guatemalans residing in the U.S., of which 60% are here illegally.


Milenio (Mexico City) 11/17/09

Lessons from Dobbsfull transl. of op/col. by Leon Krauze, titled as shown

The departure from CNN of Lou Dobbs, the aggressive and xenophobic news commentator who until recently made good use of his air time to opine obsessively about the immigration debate, has been read a thousand ways by the Mexican press. Of course, the most natural analysis – but also the most naïve – esteemed Sir or Lady: the one that supposes that Dobbs was a victim of his prejudices. It’s true that various Latin organizations in the United States had started a harsh campaign against him. It’s also true that the voice of the Hispanic community is more and more respected and feared not only in Washington but in the sales offices of the large communications media. At least since 2008, hitting the Hispanic agenda without mercy is not good business, neither politically nor commercially. But to presume that Latin power is already such that it can determine which personality stays, or not, on the air, is to live in a naïve bubble inhabited by those who believe that a migratory reform will take place at some moment between now and 2012. The number of anti-immigrant voices in the American communications media is, and will continue to be, amazing. No Latin organization will be able to get Rush Limbaugh off the air, the king of kings of the anti-immigrant discourse. Neither will they be able to get Bill O’Reilly, another similar figure, thrown out from Fox News. To say nothing of the reserves of power from radical journalists in American community radios. The reality of the departure of Dobbs from the CNN is less interesting from the political point of view but much more provoking for those who study the current dynamics of the communication media. Lou Dobbs went from CNN because the network understood that Lou Dobbs Tonight no longer met CNN’s own principal mission: to inform before opining. For some years now, Dobbs had used his air time, which was at first informative, to impose an agenda much closer to a blatant propaganda than to the admirable sobriety of a reporter of his stature. In other words, Dobbs had ceased being a journalist and converted himself into an editorialist. He opted to turn himself into a polemic and polarizing figure closer to Limbaugh or Glenn Beck – a hysterical person who also uses his “informative” air time to opine – than to the legendary Walter Cronkite or the even more admirable Edward R. Murrow. The key to understanding Dobbs’ departure is in his farewell. Upon leaving his program, Dobbs accepted that he wanted “to contribute in a different manner and to understand the problems of our time.” Further, he acknowledged having received various suggestions “from politicians, media persons and business leaders” to “reconsider” his role in CNN. One does not need to be a genius to read between the lines: Dobbs had the courage to accept that his show no longer was about information and had become the formation of public opinion. CNN, meanwhile, announced that Dobbs’ program will be replaced by a news program run by John King, a straightforward and proven reporter who, it’s supposed, will have no ambition other than to inform. It’s a dangerous gamble from the commercial point of view (in U.S. cable television, nothing sells better than ideological opinion programs), but commendable from the journalistic viewpoint: it will always be more complicated and admirable to report than to opine.

The history of Lou Dobbs and CNN has interesting readings from and for Mexico. In our country, the programs led by journalists who have preferred to become big propagandists are more and more in vogue. The phenomenon happens especially in radio, which is by definition a much more noble medium than television. After all, there’s nothing wrong in that a journalist may opt for opinion. Who are we to criticize a colleague’s narcissism? What is an error is when that journalist has the audacity of continuing to present his own view as objective news. In that respect, several Mexican journalists ought to learn from Lou Dobbs. Better to be a repugnant xenophobe, who is assumed as such, than a journalist who hides his propaganda spirit behind a veil of purity.


– end of report –

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