By Dana Priest for The Washington Post. Hildebrando “Brando” Deandar’s family has been in northern Mexico’s journalism business for nearly 100 years. But in the past 10 years, one beat has become a potentially fatal task: reporting on the country’s savage drug cartels. (Brad Horn/The Washington Post)
REYNOSA, Mexico — As deadline descended on El Mañana’s newsroom and reporters rushed to file their stories, someone in the employ of a local drug cartel called with a demand from his crime boss.
The caller was a journalist for another newspaper, known here as an enlace, or “link” to the cartel. The compromised journalist barked out the order: Publish an article saying the mayor in Matamoros had not paid the cartel $2 million a month in protection fees, as an El Mañana front-page story had alleged the day before.
“They want us to say he’s not guilty,” the editor who took the call told his colleagues during the episode in late October. Knowing glances passed between them as a visiting Washington Post reporter looked on.