Despite 40,000 drug related murders in five years, Mexico is not really all that violent.
At least not according to the Dalai Lama.
During a three-day visit here, the Tibetan spiritual leader said that most Mexicans are peaceful but the media focuses on the bloodshed.
“If we rely on what we see on the news, then it seems that this country is constantly affected by attacks, the violence and everything else. It happened when I got ready to come to Mexico. You see the BBC and other media saying that ten people died in an attack here, 15 in an attack there,” said the 76-year old Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th high lama.
“But of course after you arrive in Mexico, you see that people are friendly, that I find peace in everything.”
The Dalai Lama made the statement at the headquarters of Mexico’s teachers’ union, where he met with controversial union boss Elba Esther Gordillo – who is fighting a corruption scandal.
During his visit, Tenzin Gyatso also spoke before a crowd at the Estadio Azul soccer stadium and met with President Felipe Calderon – who has also urged the media to focus less on the violence. (See El Presidente of Fun)
The Dalai Lama is right when he says that the vast majority of Mexicans are peaceful.
But pointing a finger at the media for focusing on the bloodshed is a red herring.
When horrific acts happen, such as mass graves with more than 200 victims or thugs burning down a casino and killing 52 people, the media has a duty to report them.
Societies can confront problems most effectively if they have all the information about them.
Less reporting on Mexican drug violence won’t make it go away.
In Spanish they call that, “using your finger to block out the sun.”