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Joaquin Guzman Loera was found guilty of all counts. Rhetoric was used by various media sources around Mexico and USA trying to maximize rumors that link high government officials with “El Chapo’s” case. Regardless of secrecy in the trial, attempted to protect the identity of those involved, there are indications of a Mexican president involvedness in this game of corruption.

Several news media headings were starring by the kingpin, and not for less.  The notorious drug lord, already convicted of crimes in Mexico, was accused in the U.S. of leading a criminal enterprise, distributing cocaine and laundering the proceeds, among other crimes. The 17-count indictment, which spans decades, alleges that Guzmán’s cartel shipped tons of drugs from South America to the United States, and then illegally moved billions of dollars in profits to Mexico.

After escaping twice from Mexican authorities, it is not a surprise that most news media were anxious to transmit every detail of this event that represents a hit to drug trafficking. Even though there have been cases in which journalists have lost their lives, as is the case of renown figure Javier Valdez, allegedly killed by Guzman’s sons for reporting about cartel infighting, this hasn’t stopped journalists in Mexico from airing every possible occurrence related to the trial.

The use of rhetoric, mostly pathos, prevailed among media reporters and articles while delivering information related to outcomes of the trial. Journalists, in an attempt to appeal to people’s emotions replenished media with articles and reports which headings looked similar to the next one, “El Chapo reduced to tears as wife, daughters appear in court.”  In this sense, the intention, of course, is to be clickbait and persuade people to click and read the article. The first paragraph then, starts mentioning how his twin daughters waved at him and how he is a sensitive human capable of let his feelings be in front of others.

Ethos was applied by various media sources as well; as in the case of CBSN news that invited a professional in the matter, a criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor in order to transmit ethical appeal. This person had been following the case since its beginnings, plus they knew that he was going to be able to provide credible, reliable, and fair opinions and information. The reporters took advantage to ask him things like “Do you think that watch him cry and seeing his little girls waving at El Chapo might have any impact on the jury?”  To what he answered that it always does, but that they know till what stands they let that to have an impact on them. He also said that one reason for them to allow that type of scenes to happen is to humanize the clients, and thanks to that it was demonstrated that the kingpin is also a human, even though seen by many as a monster. 

They brought this  gentleman to the studio to discuss topics that maybe the journalists weren’t very familiar with, to give the audience a sense of truth worthiness when bringing to the table topics motioned during the trial, such as making El Chapo pay for Trump’s wall, how they showed the arms used by El Chapo and his men in front of the little girls, how the judge banned Guzman’s lawyers from using phones, among other things. The lawyer was asked to give his opinion on how he thought the case was going. Again, there was not better person to be asked about this case than a professional in the matter of criminal justice.  

Something that journalists are not very happy about is the decision of the judges to maintain part of the trial in secret. “Judge Brian M. Cogan has been tasked with keeping the first of these trials on track and the second one in check. Given the sensitivities involved and the enormous news media attention, he has conducted much of the proceedings in secret.”

 Though the exchange occurred in private, reporters obtained a transcript, and by Friday night, word spread that a witness at the trial of El Chapo was poised to accuse a Mexican president of taking bribes. A complicated game began in which students of Mexican politics tried to divine which president it was from the cryptic comments made in court. But not only students were trying to guess, journalists started to make conclusions as well. 

“Was it the incumbent, Enrique Peña Nieto?

Or maybe the defense had erred and it was actually the president-elect: Andrés Manuel López Obrador,” published New York Times’ journalist in his article “The Public Trial of El Chapo, Held Partially in Secret,” appealing once again to pathos, there is a lot people that will easily believe either or, people that think governments are corrupted, the same as people that dislike these individuals. 

In court, a witness testifying against Guzman also named one of Mexico’s top law enforcement officials, Genaro García Luna, as someone who took bribes. He said that on two occasions he met Mr. García Luna in a restaurant and each time gave him a briefcase stuffed with at least $3 million in cash.

Mexico has long been plagued by troubles with corruption, and some in the country were not at all surprised that tales of graft were emerging, thousands of miles away, at El Chapo’s trial in Brooklyn.

“The world might be shocked, but here, for us, this is old news,” said Fernanda Hernández, 23, a secretary from Mexico City. “To learn the inner workings of corruption at the highest level is something that for some reason feels rather obvious to us.”

To all this we see how secrecy not only took place in the trial, but also, we see how high-level government officials served to the drug lord without any actions being taken. Government may have even taken part in El Chapo’s scape from prison; people in Mexico knew or suspected it, even journal people, but no one had the courage to take action and speak up. 




Annotated Bibliography

Josmery –

Sources were good, but you don’t have a scholarly article. Check with a librarian to amke sure you have one for the final essay.

Thesis should be how we know about the sentence. For example, was it covered differently in Mexican or US papers/TV, or social media? Maybe how secrecy was involved in government corruption? Did fear play a part in any media coverage?

Thesis: After decades evading justice, El Chapo’s sentence to life in prison led the principal news in Mexico and USA for the last months. His great contribution to corruption, how he managed to escape from jail and whether this will reduce drug trafficking, are the main topics next.


Beith, Malcolm. The Last Narco: Inside the Hunt for El Chapo, the World’s Most Wanted Drug Lord. New York: Grove Press, ProQuest, 2010.

This book is about the story of the Mexican kingpin El Chapo Guzman.The book presents the struggle of those who dare to stand up to the cartels, and the ways those cartels have tragically corrupted every aspect of Mexican law enforcement. It also mentions how Guzman was considered among the wealthiest man in the world and his skill to escape from the law.


ContentEngine LLC. The Case of ‘El Chapo’ Does not End the Era of Big Bosses. Miami: CE Noticias Financieras English, Latin America, ProQuest, 2019.

This article mentions how even though El Chapo was captured, drug production and trafficking in Mexico have still increased in the past years. His cartel is allegedly now being controlled by his children. Plus, there exist many other powerful cartels there as well, which contributes to such increase.


Sonja, Sharp. Talk isn’t cheap in ‘El Chapo’ case; The stunning dollar amounts discussed in the drug kingpin’s trial are just the price of doing business. Los Angeles: Los Angeles Times Magazine, ProQuest, 2019.

This one is about how powerful, in terms of money, the drug industry is. It mentions the billions of dollars people involved in this business can have, along with properties around the world. It also mentions how they use tentative amounts of money to bribe individuals in power control of high levels of government. Proof of this is that El Chapo was considered one of the richest men in the world by Forbe magazine in 2015.


EFE EN NUEVA YORK. Según testimonio, el Chapo violaba a niñas y las llamaba “vitaminas”. Mexico:, 2019.

This article portraits portrays part of the many ways in which the drug lord contributed to corruption in Mexico. Here witnesses make public how El Chapo and his henchmen outraged more than one little girl. According to this article he had a woman who would get woman ranging from 13 years old and up for him. These little girls whom El Chapo called “vitamin” were drugged to then be abused.


Feuer Alan and Emily Palmer. El Chapo’s Early Days as a Budding Kingpin. New York: New York Times, 2018.

This article gives a brief resume of the early days of El Chapo’s carrier. It shows examples of the strategies that the kingpin adopted in order to become one of the best in his field. A witness that started to work with El Chapo since his beginnings explains all that and also that even though he was one of his best men, he ended up betraying him. Consequently, he was threatened to death in several occasions while in jail.


Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Mexico’s Drug War: The Battle Without Hope. Greenhaven Press, 2014.

  This last article explains more in depth how cartels function in Mexico, as well as the position of government before these cartels. It details a bit more of how they corrupt youth and how much damage they cause to society, focusing on “El Cartel de Sinaloa,” the biggest of all, which was managed by El Chapo for many years.


Josmery –

Excellent analysis. Good job weaving in Deresiewicz with your experience and placing everything in the context of technology.

Your writing is quite good, engaging with a nice flow. Watch for errors Word doesn’t catch (award/aware).

Mass media plays an important role in society. It serves as a medium of information, entertainment, and education. Many people rely on the information obtained from these mediums to take decisions. Thanks to news we are informed of events that happen around the world, and that may directly or indirectly affect us. 

In the lecture article “The End of Solitude,” Deresiewicz renders shows how technology has changed society over time. throughout the times. In the past, it was common to see kids playing on the streets; that’s how I grew up. Children were more creative –– looking for new ways to have fun in a sane way. My friends and I used to make little cars out of cartons of juice and phones out of plastic cups and thread. Those days are gone; we don’t see kids playing on the streets anymore. They are too busy playing video games and spending time on their social media accounts. But we can’t blame them when six years old receive iPhones for their birthday, and before they’re born, they are shining in social media. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against these new trends. I also fall into the “mini celebrity” category. I have hundreds of unknown followers on Instagram. I agree that nowadays being alone is more difficult than ever. Sometimes, I even struggle to get some time aside for homework; I’m constantly tempted by my social network. It seems that “we live exclusively in relation to others,” for the effects social media has on us.  Once I conducted a survey intended to evaluate how social media affects self-esteem; more than 80 % of surveyed acknowledged to be affected. Interesting.

Everyone who knows me is award aware that I’m not a news fan. When I read the assignment, I thought that 48 hours without news weren’t going to affect me. Normally, I hear about news from my relatives and friends. The only news I follow is related to the weather. It was difficult to escape from the news since everywhere you go someone is bringing up news. The most difficult part for me was ignoring the weather in the mornings before getting dressed for work, wondering whether it would rain. I realized how believing that knowing about news was not important to me was a fallacy.

 I didn’t feel the need of information till now because unintentionally, I’ve always been informed. I prohibited my informers to talk to me about news and I missed it. I’d taken it for granted. Good insight.

With the situation in Venezuela and Trump’s fight for the construction of the wall, it’s inevitable to get anxious for information. Such things can affect us as citizens, so it’s important to follow the trajectory of this type of events. 

News may be considered an intrusion of solitude. When you watch the television or read a blog or newspaper, you normally do it alone. There are people who spend hours watching TV; one news program after another. “Solitude disappeared from our lives,” and mass media and video-games are responsible. 


Josmery- Overall, a good essay. You paid careful attention to the sources and have a strong grasp of McLuhan’s arguments (with one exception; see below), Your writing has rhythm and a good flow. Sometimes short sentences are useful (see example below). A more detailed analysis would have made stronger connections between critical perspective and McLuhan.

          Having a critical perspective means to be able to compare and discuss different attitudes and interpretations towards a specific subject. In this case, it is used to understand how communication shapes and affects culture. The first thing to evaluate here is McLuhan’s theory of “the medium is the message.” According to McLuhan what counts is what the medium does to us and with us. “A vital point I must stress again is that societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media with which men communicate than by the content of the communication.” 

 McLuhan definitely used critical perspective along his in thinking. He had a clear vision of the power of media and its implications; Thus, he was intending to create awareness among men and women of the impact this could have over the culture of society.
Two sentences here.

He had a clear vision of the power of media and its implications. McLuhan aimed to create awareness of the impact media has on the culture of a society.

“All media, from the phonetic alphabet to the computer, are extensions of man that cause deep and lasting changes in him and transform his environment.”      

              McLuhan attributes the beginning of the new era of electric media to Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press. Actually, Gutenberg’s printing press is a mechanization and extension of the phonetic alphabet. Electric media spells its doom. With the distribution of books around Europe in the 16thcentury, mass media turned the vernacular language into one uniform language system. The uniformity of money, market and transport also became possible for the first time, creating then economic and political unity, giving place to a network of states. Media print contributed to the creation of a new society by shaping, among other things, education. This allowed men to be more aware of their potential, and to be able to communicate better to work together and create an improved nation for everyone.    Good summation of the impact of the printing press. But how does this figure in McLuhan’s use of critical perspective?

                He expands the bounds of debate when taking us back and forth comparing the tribal man with his literate successor. He states that the tribal man lived in a world of “acoustic space” where all the senses where playing simultaneously, preventing him from being more rational, logical, individualistic, explicit, specialized and detached as the literate man. In contrast, the tribal man was unconscious, lived in a world patterned by myth and ritual, of values divine and unchallenged. But exactly how does he expand the bounds of debate? Perhaps by questioning the “evolution” of modern man, as somehow superior to his tribal ancestors?

               And certainly, McLuhan aimed for the betterment of society. A quintessential example is the next quote; “Computer technology can—and doubtless will—program entire environments to fulfill the social needs and sensory preferences of communities and nations. The content of that programing, however, depends on the nature of future societies—but that is in our own hands”. He envisioned the magnificence of electric media. Most of his predictions came true in the new technological era; Thus, will electoral elections get come to an end? Or will automobiles get be obsolete? And what about the disappearance of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles…  Those comments got me googling. 

                 It’s evident that McLuhan demonstrated to be was a critical thinker who understood, and tried to trace the magnitude of media and the impact of it on man. “The transformations are taking place everywhere around us.” He saw what others couldn’t see until the imminence of the changes. 

Rhetorical Analysis

Josmery – Your analysis is sharp and probing. Excellent job! You really went above and beyond the work of most students. I was impressed with the depth and thoughtfulness of some of your arguments. Overall, your writing is good for a first essay. Consider a more extensive edit. Try reading aloud to get a sense of the sound and flow of the prose.

TS: In the New York Times article “Why Our Memory Fails Us,” Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons, by means of rhetorical components represent what they consider are, fallacies of the memory. Utilizing logos, pathos and ethos, Chabris and Simons intend to objectively convince people that confidently relying on one’s memory may be biased at times.

The most predominant rhetorical component the writers used along the text is logos. A good representation of this is in the case of Mr. Tyson. Even though he seemed very confident with his memories of the event, “Dr. Tyson was fooled by his faith in the accuracy of his own memory,” since he confused two different events related to President Bush. In this case, they render facts demonstrating the analogies of what Mr. Bush really said and what Mr. Tyson alleged he said. Argument that ends up being The argument is logical, since… who hasn’t mixed up memories from a series of events before?

Next, the use of pathos is depicted as well. A good example is given when they call politicians to stop “stonewalling” and admit their errors, and when they call people to be more understanding of mistakes by others. It is a call to be fair and compassionated. They are trying to convince people that even those who are esteemed for being smart and powerful can make mistakes, can be a victim of memory failure and that it should be acceptable. We are all unperfect humans at last. Good analysis. Another way to express the argument below:

Pathos is used when politicians are urged to stop “stonewalling” and admit error. The reader is asked to be more understanding of the mistakes of others. Compassion is called for when even the smart and powerful can suffer from failed memory. In the end, to be human is to be imperfect.

And we also find ethos. Memory failures have led to false convictions, and even death sentences, attributed to erroneous witness collection. “This fall the panel (which one of us, Daniel Simons, served on) released a comprehensive report that recommended procedures to minimize the chances of false memory and mistaken identification, including videotaping police lineups and improving jury instructions.” Such initiative injects credibility, as well as trustworthiness, and also shows they care. Thus, people can see that not only them consider that our own memory can betray us, but other sources also do.    Excellent point, though you don’t need to detail the workings of the panel.

The authors’ tone seems to be objective, including facts and reasonable explanations along the text. Yes.

The first comment comes from Mr. Tyson in a try an attempt to render more details of what really happened in such his case. Here, we are linked to a two sides track. In the link containing the interview, he denotes pride, arrogance and self-confidence, while the second link presents a humbler individual acknowledging his mistakes. Good job following the links! The second commenter, tries to demonstrate how that President Bush doesn’t seem as smart as Chabris and Simos proclaimed. And the third commenter, seems to be a more conscious individual who sustains in part Heffernan’s and Chabris and Simons’ articles by saying, “It’s relatively common for people to attribute a negative experience to active malice instead of honest mistake.”  In Heffernan’s article, Comments is King, we see how Anne Applebaum, a prized rewarded writer, declared one of the world’s most sophisticated thinkers, is called “liberal fool.” This commenter is aware of how mean online critics can be, and attends to persuade people to be more tolerant. Again, a very good observation. In the three cases an appeal to emotions exists, therefore, pathos is the rhetorical technique used.

I believe that the NYT’s approach to ranking comments is effective, since ingeniously they placed Mr. Tyson’s comment at the top as a motivation to the readers to comment.  Yes.