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Conroy: New State Dept. Warning on Mexican Border

Conroy: New State Dept. Warning on Mexican Border

April 27, 2005
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Just two days after Sunday's enormous demonstration in Mexico City in support of governor and presidential candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador, the U.S. State Department released a renewed warning to travelers concerning northern Mexico on Tuesday. In the Narcosphere, Bill Conroy continues his coverage of this series of distortions and half-truths coming from State about the supposed violent narco-bogeymen who threaten U.S. citizens in border areas.

Recalling his past investigations trying to find where the State Department got the information to justify its claims, Conroy writes:

"...the murder rate actually dropped between 2003 and 2004, yet in January of this year, the State Department was trying to tell us that narco-traffickers were responsible for a sudden surge in violence against U.S. citizens along the border.

"At that time, Narco News also posed a reasonable question. If U.S. citizens are facing a greater risk to their safety along the border, shouldn't there be a way of measuring that increased risk, an accounting of the increase in murders, kidnappings and disappearances?

"We contacted the U.S. Embassy in Mexico for an answer. Here's what we were told:

"'We don't have figures to respond to this question at this time,' said Diana Page, assistant press attaché for the U.S. Embassy Mexico. 'The consular section is working on helping Americans, so getting statistics together has to wait.'

"Narco News also talked with a State Department program analyst, Greg Blackman, who informed Narco News that the State Department would not likely be able to produce the information being sought. In particular, Blackman said he was not aware of any report that tracks kidnappings or disappearances of U.S. citizens in Mexico on an aggregate basis over the course of multiple years.

"'... I severely doubt we have the information you're looking for,' Blackman said. '... I have people looking into it now, so I don't know for sure what records are kept or how yet.'

"So it appears that the State Department is warning U.S. citizens about an increased danger to their safety in Mexico, yet they don't even track, in a systematic fashion, how all those threats are playing out? So how can we trust their figures, particularly if the travel warnings appear to have an underlying political purpose, such as manipulating the upcoming Mexican presidential election?"

The warning is provoking protests from Mexican officials. Read the full report, at:

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder Managing Editor The Narco News Bulletin

© Scoop Media

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