If it were not Mexico and Televisa, this would be unbelievable.
We have all heard for years that the mass media is controlled by just a few people. And that mass media can control what the mass of the people think because it (primarily television) is the source of news for most people. This is especially true in underdeveloped or developing countries where the majority of the people do not have internet access. So it shouldn’t surprise us that a television network puts its own spin on the news. But to blatantly alter the facts of a story to serve its own agenda should shock even the most cynical.
China, North Korea, and other closed societies are the extreme examples of this with government owned and operated media censoring the news, even on the internet, and only telling the people what the government wants them to know.
For me, Mexico and its “free press” is a conundrum. The print media is a “free press”, but is often controlled by the government through economic coercion (withholding govt. advertising), From 1935 to 1990, the govt. had a monopoly on newsprint and all newspapers had to buy from the government.
The media is also controlled in many instances by organized crime through intimidation by violence and murder of reporters and editors. This results in “self-censorship” by the media. I remember the story of one reporter who wrote a story on a cartel’s illegal activities in her city and was subsequently threatened with her life. In fear, she went to her editor and reported the threat. He told her she needed to make a personal apology to the cartel and tell them she would never do that again.
The International Press Institute and Reporters Without Borders rank Mexico as the most dangerous place in the world for journalist.
But that doesn’t explain the enigma of Televisa, the largest Spanish language television broadcaster in the world. I am not sure if it is the voice, the mouthpiece of PRI (for all practical purposes that is the same as the government), or is it the power behind the throne in Mexico?
It’s owners are high on the list of the wealthiest in Mexico. Not all of that wealth has come from broadcasting revenues. It is one of the largest owners of casino’s in Mexico, along with other wealthy Mexicans such as the Rhon family who have suspected ties to drug trafficking cartels. Casinos have historically had ties to organized crime and casinos and banking (which the Rhon family is heavily involved with) are notorious vehicles for laundering drug money.
In a country where it is estimated that as few as 1% of the population reads a daily newspaper, Televisa with 85% of the television broadcast market has a tremendous impact on what people think and the news they receive.
The latest example of Televisa shaping and falsifying the news is the interview with Dr. Jose Manuel Trevino. In the video broadcast by Televisa Dr. Mireles said the self-defense forces would disarm and return to their hometowns in compliance with an agreement he had made with the Secretary of the Interior, Osario Chong and the Governor of Michoacan, Fausto Vallejo..
To those of us who had followed Dr. Mireles emergence as a leader of the civil-defense movement, this was shocking. It went against everything he had said in the past. Comments such as;
**“there is no one person from the general council that can authorize or overrule anything, the full council would have to be there to discuss the issue, as to why they would want to disarm or arm.” The leaders work for the people and take orders from the people; and the people express themselves though the General Council.
**”That’s the tragedy for this government. They have already warned me to keep my mouth shut or they will come and pick me up, people from the same system itself, the government itself….And I want to make it very clear: the threats are not coming from the Templarios, and there will be more evidence coming out.
**”We know that the General Secretary of the Government does want to help put a stop to all of this, they do! But obviously, they have to rely on the state government even if it’s not worth a single cent…….it’s necessary for the federal government to help us, to pressure the state government so it will not be so vicious, so brazen. They keep picking up innocent people and killing them, saying, “These are the men who murdered the congressman,” when the people who were with him saw their faces because they were not even covered.
**”And to this day, we have not seen any response by the state to defend the people. …..Not one leader of the cartels has been arrested…..We are no longer afraid of being murdered by the Templarios. We’re afraid of being murdered by the state because we are affecting their interests. Dr. Mireles interview Oct. 8
Understandably it was hard for us to believe the comments coming out of Dr. Mireles mouth in this latest interview (the version broadcast by Televisa) that the civil defense members would disarm themselves and go home..
As he said in the above earlier comments and many more, neither he, nor the self-defense movement trusted the state and local governments; that the state was a bigger threat to the movement than the cartels; that he did not make decisions for the movement to, only the people did that speaking through the General Council. He and other leaders have said that if they disarm and go home and rely on the state for protection of their homes and families, they are dead.
What had changed his mind?
Then the bombshell of the story came with news of the deleted audio from the interview – six seconds of missing audio, as reported on Borderland Beat by Chivis. (link below). Kind of like the missing 18 minutes from Nixon’s White House tapes.
But in this case, Televisa only had to delete a few seconds of tape. Yet those few seconds could have a huge impact on the future of Mexico.
In those deleted few seconds, Dr. Mireles said that “when the 7 leaders of the Templars were apprehended by the authorities and the rule of law restored”. Then the Televisa video continued with the audio that “the movement would disarm and it’s members would return to their hometowns… With the altered audio, Mireles was saying that as a result of the meeting between and Mich. Governor Fausto Villejo, the self-defense movement would honor the request of Osario that they disarm. What the video actually said when the missing six seconds is included is Dr. Mireles saying ‘when the 7 heads of the cartel were apprehended and the rule of law restored they would disarm and go home.
A huge change in the meaning of what he said.
Why would Televisa alter the video?
If the self-defense movement does not disarm and go home, the version of the video presented by Televisa gives the government the excuse to use force to disarm and disband the “vigilantes” because they broke the agreement that Dr. Mireles had allegedly made according to the Televisa interview.. without an outcry from the people of Mexico and the world.
How would elimination of the self-defense movement benefit Televisa?
In addition to strengthening it’s ties/control of PRI, it eliminates a potential threat of a new power (the people) arising that it cannot control. It thereby ensures the continuation of impunity it has enjoyed for at least the last few decades. Those ties go back many years. Televisa’s founder and CEO said in the mid 1990s “ I am but a foot soldier for PRI”.
Nixon’s 18 missing minutes helped bring down a Presidency. The six missing seconds of audio on the Televisa interview should be just as big a story in the world media.
The missing six seconds in the following Televisa video are at 3:37 in the Televisa video and the sound comes back at 3:43. Both the Televisa version of the interview and the version with the missing 6 seconds included can be viewed at the post by Chivis below.
chivis post with both videos