De-Manufacturing Consent- Mexicoleaks: The Answer to Mexico’s Narco-Politics Nightmare?

Guillermo Jimenez Presents Denny Benevides

On this edition of De-Manufacturing Consent: Guillermo is joined by Danny Benavides, Contributing Editor for 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 gate-keeping 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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  1. Castillonis says:

    1. The wikipedia page for ‘Free Press Unlimited’ says that it is a Dutch NGO that resulted from the merger of two other groups 28 April 2011
    2. Huffington post provided a document link that indicated Dutch NGO funding for the USAID Cuban HIp Hop project.
    3. GlobalResearch article mentioned Spanish front companies and did not mention the Panamanian front company that is in the Huffington provided documents. Are we being sent down a false path by Huffington docs?
    4. I definitely do not recommend a centralized point for collection of documents. There should be many different producers of documents. A non centralized solution will be better for getting information out in a timely manner. De centralized will be more difficult to coopt. De centralized will be more difficult to monitor and target.
    5. The de centralized grass roots investigators will need to share better operational methods

  2. I guess I have the same reservations about Mexicoleaks as I have about most of these leaker/whistleblower/FOIA websites – the problem with making yourself a channel for information is that it’s easy for the intelligence services to abuse you as a channel for disinformation.

    More broadly, I think it is time the alt media well and truly gave up on this ‘information war’ concept that has been so heavily promoted by Alex Jones et al. 99% of the time the alt media has no original information whatsoever, it just takes existing mainstream reporting and re-packages it for conspiracy theorists, cult members, UFO nuts and so on. Original investigation is extremely hard to find.

    As to Snowden – it never ceases to amaze and depress me how many people just accepted that story. It speaks volumes about the lack of critical thinking in the alt movement that Operation Snowden worked so well. But the alt movement was screwed long before Snowden turned up.

    I suppose that as a researcher the best thing I can say about these things is ‘data is data’, and that I have, at times, found useful stuff via Wikileaks. I do use some of these foundation-assisted or otherwise dodgy/suspicious or downright dirty organisations as a source for raw documents. I will get documents from pretty much anywhere – I have my own process for authenticating them. So Mexicoleaks will probably be useful for those who just want data. If they start pursuing that same sort of media role as Wikileaks then they’ll become the same thing. That’s my take on it, having reflected on it for a while.

    • wallace gromit says:

      the real information to be gleaned here is probably by comparing this new thing with the older and more established counterparts, and comparing their funding, organization, traits, personnell, apparent aims etc with those too. generally speaking im sure we all have a good feel of what the objective of this type of organization is, whether its concerned with mexico or maybe another ‘battleground’ like say pakistan or a number of other places

      no ones going to get real quality honest-to-goodness data from a group like this

  3. robin unger says:

    Canadas spying agency uses ‘honeypot’ techniques. Mexico very well could be doing the same.

    Deploy in GoC/Track in SIGINT
    Honeypots are used as a type of bait to lure an attacker or enemy into them. CSE likely uses them to detect or deflect malicious emails or traffic on Government of Canada (GoC) networks and in its foreign signals intelligence (SIGINT) work. Once the malware is captured in the honeypot, CSE analysts can watch the malware to see how it functions or glean information about where it came from.”

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