Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Today's headlines: Were the feds involved in the Iguala violence after all? Did the injured cops in Chilpancingo beat themselves up? Can it be that Raúl Salinas never did anything wrong?

La Jornada is the only major daily leading in its print edition with what all of them should have led with Monday — the federal police (PF) response to a blockbuster story in Sunday’ Proceso. The magazine alleged that the PF, with complicity from the army, were the ones who orchestrated and carried out the attack on protesting teaching college students in Iguala, Guerrero last September, killing three of them immediately and 43 more eventually. The story didn’t run Monday because there was no response yet; the denial by a PF spokesperson (Enrique Galindo, the “general commissioner,” a high post) didn’t come until Monday. And then only Jornada featured it this morning, under the headline “PF: federal police officers did not actively participate in Iguala,” with the word “actively” in italics, the equivalent of scare quotes in Mexican headlinese. The Proceso article is co-bylined by Anabel Hernández, perhaps Mexico’s premier investigative reporter, and U.S. multimedia journalist Steve Fisher, with support from the University of California, Berkeley, Investigative Journalism Program. If it holds, it’s a game-changer. Nobody in the federal government, including Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam, the nation’s top law enforcement official, ever mentioned the feds being involved.

Under the headline “The aggression was cruel: Galindo; CETEG distances itself,” Milenio also quotes the PF general commissioner, but not on the Proceso allegations.  It's a follow-up on the violence in Chilpancingo Sunday. The cruel aggression he’s referring to is that of the Guerrero teachers organization CETEG, and he denies that drunken federales started the clash. In fact, he denies that any of them had been drinking.  CETEG, for its part, said the beating of three federal officers in their hotel was not carried out by its members. Next question: Who did, then?

Reforma’s top title changes the subject: “Raúl Salinas is innocent!”  Former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari's brother had served 10 years for the 1994 murder of José Francisco Ruiz Massieu, the PRI secretary general, former governor of Guerrero and in-law of the Salinas clan. Then he was acquitted in 2005. If it seems a tad odd to serve 10 years for a crime you’re acquitted of, welcome to Mexican justice. (The pop star Gloria Trevi, the subject of a new and controversial book and movie, both written by Sabina Berman, was thrown in jail for four years for child abuse before the prosecutors said, “Never mind.”)  Raúl was also charged with illegal enrichment, which is the rap a judge just cleared him of, and what the Reforma story is about. So now Raúl is, in the eyes of the law, as pure as the driven snow. The rest of us, decades after the fact, still don’t know who ordered the assassination of Ruiz Massieu, or how the president’s brother amassed a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

For the second straight day, El Universal goes with an exclusive rather than the most important story: “Insurance for public servants costs 2 billion pesos.” It’s an investigative piece. A reporting team used the transparency laws to learn that government workers, elected officials and members of the judiciary, including judges, are using taxpayer money for health care at top-of-the-line facilities, instead of the social security services (IMSS and/or ISSSTE).

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