Mexican governor says president recommends not releasing information about violence from organized crime

The governor of the Mexican state of Colima Mario Anguiano said last week that the federal government agreed with state governments not to report on violence to reduce the perception of insecurity in the country, according to the website SDP Noticias.

According to Anguiano, studies conducted by the Mexican federal government have shown that releasing information "every time we detain a criminal" is detrimental to "the harmony we aspire," according to SDP Noticias.

"There was an agreement [between the federal and state governments] that they would only report on arrested individuals when it was absolutely necessary," he added.

The federal government did not deny the statement. Government agencies have stopped releasing information about arrests, conflicts and security operations despite the fact that there were 1,524 killings during the first two months of the new president's administration, reported the columnist Salvador Camarena.

Some journalists in Mexico claim that changes in President Enrique Peña Nieto's communications strategy are in fact attempts to hide information about violence related to organized crime in the country.

The journalist Sanjuana Martínez, for example, recently criticized the lack of information about an explosion at the main offices of the state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicanos, or PEMEX.

"The government continues with its policy of secrecy and lack of transparency," Martínez wrote.

The website SDP Noticias also noted that last December on the presidential airplane, Peña Nieto asked journalists to maintain a balance between good and bad news.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.