Ayotzinapa in the Mexican Press: Between a State Crime and a Mafia's Grudge Match

Monday, 11 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 23 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Jorge CALLES-SANTILLANA, Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, Mexico
On September 26, 2014 a group of indigenous students from Ayotzinapa (Guerrero, Mexico) were victims of an armed attack that left a death toll of six students, two civilians and the dissapearance of other 43 students.  This attack turned to be one of the most shocking events of the administration of the President Enrique Peña.  As news broke, national and international public opinion were shaken up by facts that have let think the students had been massacred. Two versions of the attack had been spread by traditional media and social networks that have dominated the political milieu: some see the attack as a state crime while others as a mafia's grudge match.  Based on a theoretical argument built on Jeffrey Alexander's cultural sociology, Ann Swidler's sociology of culture, Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann's sociology of knowledge, Anthony Giddens' theory of structuration and Sthepen Reese, Nadia Koziner, Dennis Chong and James N. Druckman, Claes H. de Vreese, Dietram A. Scheufele and María Teresa Sádara contributions to the media framing theory, I will analyze the construction of the event using two of the most important national newspapers, Excélsior and La Jornada.  The former is a paper that have been focused on national security issues and is close to the official version of the attack while the latter is a left-wing paper identified with the left parties that are opposed to the government of Peña Nieto.  I will identify events that were watersheds in the investigation of the attack and analyze the news coverage, the graphic visual representation of the events and the debate developed in the op-ed pages in order to disclose the discursive patterns of constructions of the phenomenon and the resources the papers used to biuld meanings and representations of the event. My methodological approach will be discourse analysis.