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Ruben Oseguera Cervantes aka El Mencho Jalisco cartel, Azucena Uresti

A cartel in Mexico threatens a news anchor and demands equal coverage.

Masked men claiming to represent Mexico's most powerful drug cartel have taken the unusual step of circulating a video in which they threaten to murder a national television news anchor for what they perceive to be unfair coverage.

On Monday, a video circulated showing masked and heavily armed men surrounding a man seated at a small desk who delivered a message he claimed was from Ruben Oseguera Cervantes, aka "El Mencho," the leader of the Jalisco New Generation cartel. It was unclear whether the message was being read by Oseguera himself.

Masked men claiming to represent Mexico's most powerful drug cartel have taken the unusual step of circulating a video
Jalisco cartel

The message alleged that Milenio Television, a national cable news channel affiliated with a major newspaper chain, favored so-called self-defense groups waging war against the Jalisco cartel in Michoacan state.

He specifically targeted Mileno anchor Azucena Uresti, threatening to assassinate her and force her to eat her words.

According to the man, the vigilante groups were actually drug traffickers, the only organizations capable of affording the armament those forces possessed.

A Mexican drug cartel has accused Azucena Uresti, a newsreader, of bias against them.
A Mexican drug cartel has accused Azucena Uresti, a newsreader, of bias against them.

The message made reference to Hipolito Mora, who organized a self-defense force in Michoacan nearly a decade ago but has since distanced himself from such groups, as well as Los Viagras, a state-based criminal organization.

The Jalisco cartel representative stated in the message that he was not seeking to stifle free expression, but rather to ensure that coverage was balanced.

Milenio Television said in a statement late Monday that Uresti, as well as other journalists, had its full support. It demanded an expeditious investigation to ensure Uresti's safety and denied ever favoring any group in its coverage.

The New Generation Jalisco Cartel, a Mexican criminal organization, displays its military
The New Generation Jalisco Cartel, a Mexican criminal organization, displays its military

The Mexican government, according to presidential spokesman Jess Ramrez Cuevas, "will take the necessary measures to protect threatened journalists and news organizations." Threats against journalists are not empty rhetoric in Mexico. Mexico, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, is the most dangerous country in the Western Hemisphere for journalists.

Additionally, the Jalisco cartel has demonstrated a near-limitless reach within Mexico. In June 2020, cartel gunmen launched a brazen attack in Mexico City, critically wounding the police chief and killing three others.

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