The Effects of Drug Cartel Intimidation on the Mexican Press

Open Access
Mooser, Florence Andree
Area of Honors:
Political Science
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Steve Manuel, Thesis Supervisor
  • Michael Barth Berkman, Honors Advisor
  • cartels
  • press
In recent years, Mexican drug cartels have not only waged a fierce battle against the state, but also against the press. In their pursuit for power and control, cartels have threatened, attacked, and murdered journalists, ultimately jeopardizing democracy. The intent of this thesis is to determine the effects of drug cartel intimidation on the Ciudad Juárez (Mexico) press. I analyze the case of Armando Rodríguez Carreón, a prominent Ciudad Juárez reporter murdered on November 13, 2008. I hypothesize that his murder caused self-censorship, resulting in shorter article, and a decline in mentions of drug trafficking and government criticism. I perform a content analysis of newspaper coverage over four years (two years prior to his death, and two years following his death) to detect change. Contrary to my expectations, though, my findings suggest that the assassination of Armando Rodríguez did not result in self-censorship.