Search
Our Expertise

Our Expertise

We are viewed as experts — in public affairs, media relations, research and lobbying. Find out why. Click here.

« Wendy Davis Filibuster Couldn't Happen Here | Main | Budget Battle Nears Final Showdown »
Tuesday
Jun252013

"They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?

A powerful 5-part series on Mexican drug cartels operating in Oregon has opened many eyes, but will it galvanize law enforcement and communities into action to end the infestation that can bring death, violence and terror to the state? [Credit: The Oregonian]As the Oregon legislature appears headed for adjournment, possibly without a grand budget deal, The Oregonian is publishing a multi-part series by investigative reporter Les Zaitz revealing deep inroads into Oregon's drug scene by Mexican cartels.

Too bad legislative attention couldn't have been given this session to the underlying facts Zaitz has uncovered — bombings and shootings linked to the cartels, our own state drug lords, drug dealers in our neighborhoods, deaths from drug overdoses and challenges to law enforcement to bring perpetrators to justice.

"They Are Here," the headline on the lead story of the series published Sunday, is a scary reminder that we could see — or maybe already have seen — first-hand the kind of violence we usually associate with U.S.-Mexico border towns. It also hints at the long, grasping coils of criminal organizations that pursue drug trafficking like a business, hooking customers, bribing local officials and terrifying anyone who gets in their way.

Zaitz has won plaudits for his eye-opening reporting, which come ironically as The Oregonian scales back its profile as a print publication in pursuit of becoming a digital enterprise. Questions arise about whether stories like this will continue to be chased and reported in the new, emerging journalistic landscape.

While that is an important question, the more immediate issue is what response will Oregon law enforcement leaders give to Zaitz's story?

The invidious invasion of drug trafficking on an international scale calls for a robust response, equal to or better than what we have mounted for education reform and health care transformation. Interestingly, the legislature, after a session-long debate, is advancing a public safety bill that its proponents say will level off Oregon prison populations. But what about capturing, convicting and incarcerating some of the drug kingpins and lieutenants Zaitz has helped to identify?

Failure to curb this infestation could negate other worthy efforts by the state, such as ensuring early learning success for more Oregon children or offering in-state college tuition to the sons and daughters of undocumented workers. What good would it do to open the door to future success, but force children to navigate a society filled with predators offering toxic drugs, carrying automatic weapons and having no inhibitions about resorting to violence and coercion?

Sometimes breaking news is inconvenient. Investigative journalism can be more so. Zaitz has done his part, now it is up to the rest of us to make sure his reporting doesn't just win an award, which it surely will, but also galvanizes meaningful action to protect Oregon against this scourge.

Les Zaitz, investigative reporter for The Oregonian, spent more than a year and conducted 250 interviews to prepare his series.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (29)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Source
  • Source
  • Source
  • Source
  • Source
  • Response
    Response: ylbcDuFy
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    I was planning on starting the guide with wordpress..
  • Response
    I'm looking to start a food blog and i would like for my friends to be able to log on and comment through their facebook accounts so they don't need to make an account on the chosen blogging site to comment. What are some FREE blogging sites that allow you to ...
  • Response
    I'm new to blogspot and I'm having a difficult time. How can I change the background to a picture I want?.
  • Response
    Response: seo company
    How do I transfer current joomla files over to yahoo web hosting?
  • Response
    How would I go about creating a new blog that could become successful in less than a year. I have a lot of ideas of different things I could include, so I don't know that content would be an issue. What are good ways to promote a new blog and is ...
  • Response
    Response: nfl jerseys sale
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    Response: football jerseys
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    Response: nike nfl jerseys
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    Response: cheap nfl jerseys
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    Response: nfl nike jerseys
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    Response: nhl jerseys sale
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    There exists a inclination for individuals to pay much more over a tub as a result of pushy sales rep.
  • Response
    Response: nfl jerseys sale
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    Response: new nfl jerseys
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    Response: nfl jerseys shop
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?
  • Response
    CFM Strategic Communications - Oregon Insider: State Lobbying - "They Are Here;" Now What Will We Do?

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>