Narcing on The News?

The NarcoSphere sounds like awesome name for a death-metal band or an HBO show about the double lives of 11th-grade cops or maybe even a blockbuster movie about an underwater exploration team that's high all the time. Try none of the above: It's part of the 4-year-old NarcoNews site that "[reports] on the drug war and democracy from Latin America."

Part of that coverage has involved the story of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement paid informant Guillermo Eduardo Ram�rez Peyro, who was involved in the murders of up to a dozen people in Ciudad Ju�rez. The story was first broken by The Dallas Morning News two years ago, and revisited Monday in an editorial chiding the government for having done little to "resolve El Paso informant case."

A history of the paper's investigation is available here--as is NarcoSphere contributor Bill Conroy's criticism of the News, which Conroy says has refused to properly credit the NarcoFolks for advancing the story it followed for two years, during which there was a year-long gap in Dallas' Only Daily's coverage.

For my money, The Dallas Morning News' handling of the House of Death story is best likened to the playground tactic of being a "goal hanger." A goal-hanger is that look-at-me player who hangs out by the goal waiting to kick the ball in the net, to impress the fans, while all the other players do the hard work of driving the ball up the field. The bottom line, though, is not about who scores the first goal, but rather, who wins the game, who exposes the truth of the story. And by that measure, in my view, The Dallas Morning News clearly dropped the ball. But in this game, it's not the media players who are the judges of which team plays with the most heart. It is you, the reader; so ultimately, the call is yours.

So go read the NarcoSphere's timeline of events and judge for yourself. Unless you're NarcoLeptic, in which case go here. --Robert Wilonsky

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