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Milenio's Azucena Uresti. Milenio's Azucena Uresti.

Jalisco cartel issues threats against journalist over Michoacán coverage

Milenio Televisión anchor targeted in CJNG video message

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) directly threatened a prominent journalist and media outlets in a video released Monday morning.

In a video in which a man reads from a script in the name of cartel leader Nemesio Rubén Oseguera Cervantes, also known as “El Mencho,” the cartel took direct aim at Milenio Televisión anchor Azucena Uresti over news coverage of Michoacán.

Surrounded by six heavily armed men with their faces covered, the speaker said, “Azucena Uresti, wherever you are, I’ll get you, and I will make you eat your words, even if they accuse me of femicide, because you do not know me: Rubén Oseguera Cervantes. I am not a debt collector or extortionist, nor am I a kidnapper,” the speaker said.

“As a representative of the Jalisco Cartel New Generation, I address this message directly to Milenio. I am not against freedom of expression, but I am against whoever attacks me directly,” he added, and also pointed threats to news outlets Televisa and El Universal.

The video also accuses rival cartel leaders of being kidnappers and debt collectors and of disguising themselves as self-defense groups. It also alleged that those groups are giving money to the media.

In reaction to the threats, the president’s spokesperson, Jesús Ramírez Cuevas, wrote on Twitter to guarantee protection for journalists. “In the face of threats to the media by the CJNG, the @GobiernoMX will take appropriate measures to protect threatened journalists and media outlets. Democratic freedoms are guaranteed along with the right to information for citizens,” the Tweet read.

The U.S. government names the CJNG as one of the most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world. The cartel, originally from Jalisco and Michoacán, is currently engaged in a territorial battle in Aguililla, Michoacán, the birthplace of Oseguera.

Mexico was the most dangerous country in the world to be a journalist in 2020, according to Statista.

On July 12, the federal Interior Ministry said a total of 43 journalists and 68 human rights defenders had been killed since December 1, 2018, the day on which López Obrador was sworn in as president.

With reports from El País and El Economista

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