In May, Mexican reporter Javier Valdez Cárdenas was killed in the middle of the day near his office in Culiacán, Sinaloa. Valdez was shot in his forehead and his hands in what is believed to have been a symbolic threat.
VOSD’s Mario Koran sat down with Everard Meade, director of the University of San Diego’s Trans-Border Institute and a close friend and colleague of Valdez, to discuss the journalist’s death and lessons that can be learned from it.
One of the most disturbing trends Meade discusses is the lack of justice that follows even the most brazen and violent crimes in Mexico:
“And if you put that in the context of anybody getting killed, the elephant in the room is that there’s no expectation of justice. That’s true for journalists, but it’s true for anybody. The impunity rate in Sinaloa for murder is about 98 percent. About 98 percent of murders don’t produce an indictment or a conviction.”
Koran’s Q-and-A with Meade feels especially timely, as stories of surging violence in Tijuana and beyond have been dominating the news. A sampling:
• A Chula Vista man and four of his friends were attacked by taxi drivers in Tijuana when they ordered an Uber ride just after crossing the border, one of a series of attacks by yellow cab drivers in the past year. Eric Ibarra, the man who was badly beaten this month, will meed reconstructive surgery and will be out of work for weeks. In response, Tijuana officials moved to remove yellow taxis from the border.
• ESPN commentator Odin Ciani is asking for help from authorities after he says a group of masked gunmen murdered his sister at her Tijuana medical clinic in front of her children. Rafael Chávez, brother of another ESPN commentator, former boxing champion Julio César Chávez, was murdered last month at his home in Sinaloa.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Not to worry, "immigrants" will soon have the same opportunity to be victimized in California as they did "back home." Once the decriminalization of crime is complete all will be free to explore their chosen path to a better life, regardless of the path.