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Mexican Newspapers Attacked Again

Mexican Newspapers Attacked Again

 

Sunday marked the third attack on a branch of the El Norte newspaper in Mexico. Masked men broke into the Sierra Madre offices of the newspaper and proceeded to pour gasoline throughout the premises before igniting it. No one of the 15 people working there was injured and the blaze was quickly put out by firefighters.

This attack is the third made on independent newspaper outlets in Mexico during July. The Associated Press notes that the attackers who attempted to burn down the newspaper were not identified and none of them were caught.

Newspapers and journalists in Mexico face extremely dangerous and frightening working conditions. Cartels commonly threaten newspapers and journalists if the publications dare to unearth illegal activities linked to those very same cartels. More than 80 journalists have been killed throughout Mexico since 2000. Last month, Veracruz reporter Manuel Baez Chino went missing and was found killed a day later after he had been covering corruption and crime stories in his local area. Earlier this year, in May, four other media-related individuals were found murdered.

The highly dangerous working conditions for journalists often force newspapers to scale back on the local issues related to crime and cartels. A statement from El Manana newspaper after an attack on their offices earlier in July reflects the often uncertain terrain these publications work under. The quote, as reported by CNN, reads:

We ask for the public’s comprehension and will refrain, for as long as needed, from publishing any information related to the violent disputes our city and other regions of the country are suffering.

The response from the El Norte newspaper after the July 29 attack was somewhat different than El Manana’s. The group sent out a message to workers after the blaze had been contained, which stated:

With great respect and admiration we aim toward a different type of heroic action: one that is done by soldiers of freedom. Those who, with bravery, talent, compromise and discipline, not in a quick instant but in decades of battle, are able to improve the lives of others.

The publication plans to continue local coverage of the Monterrey area despite such massive threats to workers’ safety. CNN’s Nick Valencia points out that the continuation of local news coverage remains an essential tool in keeping cartels at bay, even when they pose such massive threats to freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

If you’re losing these beat reporters. If you’re losing these people with institutional knowledge of what’s going on in their cities and they’re not reporting what’s going on. This is information that Mexicans were getting that they just aren’t getting anymore.

Related Stories:

Another Journalist Found Murdered in Veracruz

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Photo Credit: Mexico Map

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22 comments

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9:40AM PDT on Oct 5, 2012

sad

7:57AM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

I've been very concerned about journalists in Mexico, for some time. There was a journalist who fled to the U.S. for protection, and as I remember, found it difficult to gain sanctuary, even though, to return to Mexico, would mean certain death. Journalists -- those who actively seek out the truth -- are hounded by the evil in many countries. Never forget how fortunate we are here in the United States, to have the ideal of a free press, written into our Constitution as the First Amendment. The original reporters here, used to ferret out the truth, and there are some that still do, but usually now, we get reporting that doesn't question the veracity of politicians' statements -- media is owned by a FEW corporations that must approve the reports according to their bottom-lines. And have you noticed how the reporter is the star, not the news as much?

4:51PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

My wife and I have lived in Mexico for years, and on several occasions, we just returned some many months ago, after nearly 5 years.

I would still be there if it weren't for the fact that the Zeta Cartel is pissed at me, after all, a contract is a contract.
I use to do solar work for our Municipio, it is like your county. They decided that I should pay 60,000 pesos each month, it is called "fire insurance." pay the money and no fire. By the way, in dollars, that is $4878.00 USD each month.

So, I did what any good coward would do, thank god there is night fall.

2:36PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

I have loved Mexico, her people, the food, the art, the music...since the very 1st time I visited there in 1964... My closest and dearest friend, the sister of my heart was born in Mexico.
For all this and more I send my heartfelt prayers to Mexico, and to all the brave reporters of truth who are fearing for their lives. This is Tragic!!

1:23PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

thanks.

1:03PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

I have a friend who doesn't understand why I would never visit Mexico, a place I have long hoped to see.

I hope this article can help him understand. Thank you.

1:00PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

There's a simple solution, legalize and tax the leaf.

12:16PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

Hollywood should stop supporting the Mexican drug trade. All those drugges in the entertainment world buy the drugs and make it profitable for the cartels.

12:13PM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

They need well armed guards.

11:35AM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

Terrible information, so sad to know there are no justice for journalists, they are unknowwn heroes, but here in México voices are raising against this and hopefully will stop this. Thank you all reporters around the world facing terrible things just because they are doing their job.

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