Mediaocracy in Mexico : manufacturing consent for state repression in San Salvador Atenco
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In Mexico’s neoliberal era, development projects threaten to uproot the lives of mestizo and indigenous peasant farmers. Faced with displacement from their lands, farmers from Atenco in the Texcoco Valley of Central Mexico fought against the construction of a billion-dollar airport project in 2002 and won. To allegedly avenge the failure of the airport project, police initiated a raid in Atenco on May 3rd and 4th, 2006. Police broke into homes, arrested hundreds of farmers and their supporters, sexually tortured women detainees and killed two protestors. Meanwhile, the television media in Mexico reported events in ways to generate public consensus that favored the mobilization of police forces that led to abuses against the residents of Atenco. The same bias influenced U.S. news reports on Atenco. Not until the alternative press started to expose the abuses did the mainstream media move toward more balanced coverage and closer to the truth.