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Arson attack on "La Verdad" newspaper in Junin

(FOPEA/IFEX) - The Argentine Journalism Forum is concerned about an arson attack that took place in the early morning hours of 7 November 2011 at the printing plant used by "La Verdad" newspaper. The incident took place in the town of Junin in the province of Buenos Aires.

According to editor Omar Bello and online editor Miguel Ángel Chiarantano, a fire destroyed the smart board on the main printing press. "La Verdad" will be printed in the neighbouring town of Pergamino until the machinery is repaired, which will take approximately 10 days.

Although the perpetrators have not been identified, Bello and Chiarantano believe that newspaper employees may have participated because the entryways to the printing workshop were not forced. A preliminary investigation indicates that the fire may have been deliberately set because several rags doused in kerosene were found lying on top of cables on the premises. The fire burnt out only because the printing machine is made of flameproof materials.

A complaint has been registered with the authorities in Junin.

"La Verdad" recently published articles about the drug trade in Junin and identified the mayor, Mario Meoni, as being involved. A spokesperson for the mayor, Javier Gabrielli, told FOPEA that he has not responded to the newspaper's accusations because he says they are unfounded.

Gabrielli and other sources told FOPEA that there is a lot of tension between members of the newspaper's editorial team, which they speculate could have led to the incident.

FOPEA demands that the authorities investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.

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