New York, July 11, 2012–Unknown assailants using explosives, grenades, and guns attacked three news outlets in northern Mexico on Tuesday, causing property damage but no injuries, according to news reports.
Two of the attacks were against weekly supplements of the daily El Norte based in the city of Monterrey. The paper said both supplements cover local social events. La Silla, located to the south of the city, was hit by an explosive device at around 4:30 a.m., which damaged the front of the building, according to news reports. La Silla has been attacked four times since 2006, according to the daily Vanguardia. Around 4 p.m., unidentified gunmen fired upon the offices of Linda Vista, located to the north of the city, according to news reports. The assailants also threw a grenade at the building, which damaged its façade and some windows, the reports said.
In Nuevo Laredo, the offices of the daily El Mañana were hit by an explosive device around 6 a.m., the newspaper reported. The explosion damaged the façade of the building, the report said. El Mañana has been attacked in the past. On May 11, gunmen set off an explosive device outside the building, then shot at the façade and the parking lot, news reports said. In 2006, gunmen shot a reporter five times and threw a hand grenade into the newsroom. The reporter is in a wheelchair and the case is unsolved.
“It is appalling that three Mexican media outlets, two of which have been attacked repeatedly in the past, were violently targeted in a single day,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas. “Mexican authorities must fully investigate these crimes, provide protection to the outlets, and ensure that the journalists can work without fearing for their lives.”
The motives in all three cases are unknown. None of the papers are known for their coverage of Mexican cartels, which have terrorized the local press into silence. After El Mañana was attacked in May, it published an editorial saying it would stop covering the disputes between drug cartels in the country for as long as necessary. “The administrative and editorial councils of this company have reached this regrettable decision, which was caused by the circumstances we all know about, due to the lack of conditions for the free exercise of journalism,” the editorial stated.
- For more data and analysis on Mexico, visit CPJ’s Mexico page here.