University librarian keeps tally of the murders in Juárez, Mexico
May 21, 2012
By Virginia Isaad for El Nuevo Sol de California State University, Northridge
Living 50 miles from one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Molly Molloy has taken on the grisly role of keeping count of the murders in Juarez, Mexico.
As New Mexico State University (NMSU) librarian and Border & Latin American Specialist, Molloy, 56, held an interest in the so-called war on drugs and the lack of in-depth coverage it received.
In 2009, she began hosting a newsgroup through Google groups, which has now accumulated nearly a thousand subscribers mainly consisting of academics and journalists interested in border issues. By pulling information from sources such as El Diario de Juarez, Molloy provides her subscribers with detailed accounts of events generally glossed over in other media outlets.
The reason for the violence is commonly attributed to Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s call to war against the drug cartels, however, little is said of the effects of NAFTA that led to the loss of jobs and the Merida Initiative, which continues to funnel millions of dollars to the Mexican military. The increase in poverty in this border region and the rise of corrupt government officials has created an environment for illegal activity to thrive thus perpetuation the violence.
“I think that most US coverage is pretty shallow and seems almost always based on the latest press releases from Mexican government entities. Of course when there is a high-profile event like a massacre, multiple homicides, atrocities with narco-banners, etc., there is a flurry of wire service coverage, but there is almost never any follow-up,” said Molloy. “ Also, I know that there are many reporters from major media based in Mexico, almost all of them in Mexico City.There, they have access to the major government agencies, cabinet officials, etc. What they do not seem to have is access to local and state officials in areas where the worst violence occurs. There is seldom any reporting from rural areas.”