Car bomb explodes outside Televisa in northern Mexico

New York, August 27, 2010–Mexico’s main television network reported that a car bomb exploded at its headquarters in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas state early today. There were no injuries, the Televisa network said, but its transmission was knocked out for several hours and there was damage to neighboring buildings.

In its broadcasts, Televisa offered no explanation as to why it might have been targeted. According to a local press report, the state attorney general said an explosive device was thrown at the headquarters of the traffic police in the city about the same time.

This is the third time in two weeks that Televisa, which covers general news, has been targeted by bomb attacks. The region is suffering battles for control by drug cartels.

“Mexican authorities must put an end to this wave of violence that is seriously endangering the media and limiting citizens’ right to be informed,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas. “We call on the federal government to launch a timely and exhaustive investigation and prosecute those responsible.”

Two weeks ago, another car bomb exploded in the parking lot of the local police headquarters in Ciudad Victoria. On August 15, a hand grenade was thrown at the building of Televisa in Monterrey, the largest city in Mexico’s north. There were no injuries reported, according to press accounts. However, there was damage to the building and to vehicles used for remote transmissions.

On August 14, unidentified assailants fired a grenade at Televisa offices in Matamoros, Tamaulipas state, news reports said. The grenade was fired from a nearby pedestrian bridge, the Mexico city-based newspaper Milenio reported, causing minor property damages but no injuries.

And on July 5, what appeared to be a sophisticated car bomb detonated in Ciudad Juarez, another northern Mexico town heavily influenced by narcotics traffickers and corrupt local officials. That car bomb seems to have been the first set off by radio remote control.