Yet More “Sensational Headlines”

“Some Americans only see the Mexico depicted in sensational headlines.”
President Barack Obama, May 3, 2013

Mexican police have found the charred corpse of a man suspected of kidnapping 12 young people from a Mexico City bar.

Dax Rodriguez Ledezma’s body was found along with that of his girlfriend.

The 12 were reported missing on 26 May after they failed to return home from the Heaven bar, which was co-owned by Rodriguez Ledezma.

The apparent abductions took place in daylight in the capital’s bustling Zona Rosa district. The 12 youngsters have not been seen since.

A “charred corpse” is certainly “sensational”. Shame on the BBC for covering the story.

Turns out they’re serial “sensationalists”:

Gunmen have shot dead a mayoral candidate in Mexico’s forthcoming election, the latest in a series of violent attacks on politicians.

Officials said Ricardo Reyes Zamudio was kidnapped while attending a funeral in Durango state on Sunday. His body was found on Monday with bullet wounds.

The authorities have blamed the death on organised criminals.

Again, a bullet-riddled body is pretty sensational (in one sense of the word). But what’s with the insinuation that this sort of thing is commonplace: “The latest in a series of violent attacks”? That doesn’t fit with President Obama’s depiction of the country at all.

Do you think maybe…maybehe’s talking out his backside?

Mexico ranked poorly in the Reputation Institute’s 2013 annual list of 50 leading countries. With a score of 47.0, on a scale from 0 to 100, Mexico falls fairly low on the list (No. 35), far below Brazil (No. 21), Peru (No. 23), Chile (No.28) and Argentina (No. 30). However, Mexico can take solace in the fact that there are three Latin American countries that scored even worse: Venezuela (No. 39), Bolivia (No. 41), and Colombia (No. 45).

How’s that for a marketing slogan? “We’re not Bolivia!”

It should come as no surprise that Mexico’s reputation ranked poorly. Before the eyes of the world, Mexico is a country battling a bloody war with powerful drug cartels that in the past six years resulted in 70,000 people dead and 25,000 missing. Mexico has been condemned by international human rights organizations for systematically violating human rights and criticized for being controlled by governments often better known for their corrupt practices than their efficiency. In an unsuccessful attempt to improve Mexico’s image, the Calderón Administration (2006-2012) signed multi-million dollars contracts with two leading American public relations firms, Qorvis Communications and Ogilvy Public Relations. An official of the current Mexican government said to me, “not only did they not succeed in improving Mexico’s reputation, but they made it worse.”

Can you blame them? Not even President Obama’s soaring rhetoric can put lipstick on that pig.

To repeat from earlier posts on this topic: I have nothing against Mexico. As long as it stays in Mexico. I wish it were better run, but that’s beyond my doing (and theirs, evidently). Just don’t pee on my head and tell me it’s Corona.

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