|IAPA protests attacks on Mexican newspapers|
Miami (July 11, 2012)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned a series of attacks carried out yesterday on the newspapers El Norte of Monterrey, Nuevo León state, and El Mañana of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, while asking to “activate new legal investigation and protection measures” at federal level to defend press freedom.
The offices of the supplements “La Silla” and “Linda Vista,” published by El Norte, which belongs to the Reforma Group in Monterrey, were attacked with hand grenades and AK-47 rifle shots, causing considerable damage to the building.
In the attack on El Mañana in Nuevo Laredo yesterday morning an explosive device was hurled and shots fired at the front of the building.
In neither of these two incidents were there any injuries. No group or person has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Gustavo Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, spoke of “the need in Mexico for the authorities to activate new legal investigation and protection measures that have just been adopted to safeguard freedom of expression.” He added that prompt implementation of these new laws “will encourage greater responsibility of the authorities to investigate, punish and put an end to this kind of serious attacks against freedom of the press.”
On June 22 Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón signed into law a constitutional amendment that empowers the Attorney General’s Office to bring under federal jurisdiction crimes against journalists, other people or facilities that affect, limit or undermine the right to information or freedom of expression or of the press.
El Mañana has been the target of other attacks. The first one occurred in 2004 with the murder of its editorial director, Roberto Mora García. Since 2006 the paper has suffered three attacks on its installations, two of them this year, after which El Mañana publisher decided not to report on cases of violence and organized crime. In another development, in less than two years El Norte has been the victim of five attacks on its installations in Monterrey.
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.