FEBRUARY 7, 2005Posted: February 11, 2005

Jorge Cardona Villegas, Televisa ATTACKED
Cardona, who covers crime in the northern state of Nuevo León for the Televisa network affiliate in the city of Monterrey, was attacked at his home. Since then, he has gone into hiding.

At around 5:50 a.m., Cardona’s house and his car were hit by several rounds of bullets, allegedly fired by one armed assailant, Assistant State Prosecutor Aldo Fasci Zuazua told CPJ. Cardona, who lives alone and was sleeping at the time, stayed on the floor until the police came and was not injured. The police found more than 50 bullet cases from a machine gun.

Televisa Monterrey News Director Juan Francisco Cobos said that neither Cardona nor the TV station staff had received any threats.

Cobos believes that the attack may have come in retaliation for a two-part report broadcast on February 3 and 4. Cardona reported on the cases of several kidnapped or missing U.S. citizens in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, in the state of Tamaulipas across from the Texas city of Laredo.

Relatives of the victims alleged in the report that local authorities were involved in the kidnappings and disappearances. Cardona also interviewed a former member of the Los Zetas paramilitary group, which allegedly includes army defectors who are said to provide intelligence and protection to the Tamaulipas-based Gulf drug cartel. Cardona’s report concluded that Los Zetas was also involved in the kidnappings, Cobos said.

State authorities have begun an investigation into the attack on Cardona. The assistant state prosecutor told CPJ his office was examining two motives: the journalist’s work, or personal reasons.

The reporter is currently at an undisclosed location, Cobos said.