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"Mi Pueblo" weekly's headquarters target of shooting, may be connected to criticisms of government

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 17 February 2009, unknown assailants fired shots at the headquarters of the weekly "Mi Pueblo". According to witnesses, the attack took place at approximately 3:00 A.M. (local time) and the aggressors fled in a vehicle. There were no casualties. The incident took place in the center of the Duran neighborhood, in Guayaquil. Twelve bullet shells were found, along with a message signed by the "La Mafia" gang, which has carried out this type of attack before.

The editor and owner of the weekly, Arturo Fernández, did not rule out the possibility that the attack may be connected to a series of articles published in "Mi Pueblo" over the last two years which criticised the government. He reported having received several threats via phone calls and text messages.

IPYS and the Andean Foundation for the Observation and Study of the Media (Fundación Andina para la Observación y Estudio de los Medios, Fundamedios) condemn the attack and urge the authorities to identify those responsible and their motives.

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