Traces of Reality
March 23, 2015
Episode 64: “Mexicoleaks: The Answer to Mexico’s Narco-Politics Nightmare?” with Danny Benavides
On this edition of Demanufacturing Consent: Guillermo is joined by Danny Benavides, Contributing Editor of Traces of Reality. We discuss the launch of a new Wikileaks-style project in Mexico called “Mexicoleaks” — a forum created by various media outlets and civil-society groups to investigate government corruption.
While Mexicoleaks has not yet published their first report, the group has already stirred controversy within political and media circles south of the US border. We discuss the goals of this project, who is involved, their source of funding, and why we remain skeptical about the operation.
We go over a brief history of the shifts in journalistic climate in Mexico over the last few years as a result of drug-war violence, and why there is a perceived need for a whistleblower-centered platform: reporters assassinated, editors threatened, the rise in citizen journalism, and the violent attacks on “anonymous” social-media users and bloggers.
Finally, we pose several questions for the audience to consider: What are the potential benefits of Mexicoleaks? Is there a danger in centralizing Mexico’s “secrets”? As Mexicoleaks searches for “Mexico’s Snowden,” is there a danger in creating a bottleneck of information, or worse, a gatekeeping mechanism? While the journalists named so far who are involved with Mexicoleaks are reputable anti-establishment voices, can we trust the leak keepers to disclose all information in the “public interest”?
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