In Mexico, three reporters die covering truck explosion

New York, September 10, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists mourns the death of three Mexican reporters killed during a blast on Sunday night while covering a collision between a truck carrying dynamite and a vehicle in the northern Coahuila state. At least 34 people were killed and 150 injured in the explosion, The Associated Press reported.

Monclova-based reporters David Herrera from the daily Zócalo, Carlos Antonio Ballesteros from the daily El Tiempo, and Andrés Ramírez from the daily La Prensa were killed during a highway explosion 18 miles (30 kilometers) south of Monclova, Zócalo’s editor, Sergio Cisneros, told CPJ.

The explosion occurred minutes after reporters had arrived at the scene to cover a collision between a truck carrying 20 tons of mining explosives and a smaller vehicle, according to Mexican press reports. Cisneros said journalists were not aware of the truck’s heavy load of explosives. Controversy has arisen in Coahuila, a center for mining, over the extent of explosives being transported by truck for use in local mines.

“We are saddened by the deaths of David Herrera, Carlos Antonio Ballesteros and Andrés Ramírez,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “We extend our deepest condolences to their families, friends and colleagues.”