Media Watch

Mexico: Newspaper office attacked in Veracruz

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On 6 November a group of ten masked people carrying firearms set fire to the office of “El Buen Tono”, a newspaper based in the state of Veracruz.

The Veracruz state government deny the claim that an armed group caused the fire.

In an interview with ARTICLE 19, the general director of “El Buen Tono”, Julio Fentanes, said that the employees attest to the fact that the arsonists were armed.  An ammunition clip was also left in the office following the attack.

The authorities need to implement the necessary safety measures given the ongoing culture of violence directed against journalists, human rights defenders and whistleblowers in Veracruz.

“This attack represents an escalation in the violence against journalist in Veracruz and demonstrates the inefficiency of the authorities to guarantee the free exercise of the freedom of expression,” said ARTICLE 19 Mexico director Darío Ramírez.

In 2011 so far, four journalists have been murdered, one has gone missing and thirteen others have been force to flee the state because of threats to their lives.

It is a hostile environment where journalists are under constant threat and where social network users have been pressured and intimidated by criminals and local authorities for exercising free speech.

According to “El Buen Tono” staff, a group of armed men arrived to the newspaper office in two vehicles just after midnight on 6 November. They threatened the people at the entrance and directed themselves to the editing, designing and advertisement room which they doused with gasoline and set on fire.

The attack caused significant material damage which caused the print edition to be suspended for at least two weeks. Fortunately nobody was injured during the incident.

ARTICLE 19 calls upon the government of Veracruz to fulfil both their obligation to investigate these attacks and their duties towards ensuring that impunity for violence against journalists will not continue.



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