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Editor threatened in Tabasco after human head found in front of newspaper's offices

(CEPET/IFEX) - On 9 June 2008, a note was found threatening the editor of the "El Correo de Tabasco" newspaper in Villahermosa, capital of the state of Tabasco, according to information provided by the Associated Press, which cited an article published in the "El Nuevo Diario" newspaper of Nicaragua. The threatening note was found two days after a human head was left in front of the "El Correo de Tabasco" building.

According to the state attorney general, Gustavo Rosario, police officers in Villahermosa discovered the note containing threats against the newspaper's editor, Juan Padilla. "You, editor, will be next," the note said, in reference to Padilla position as editor of the newspaper. The authorship of the note is unknown.

On 7 June, Mexico's Day for Freedom of Expression, the head of a man, whom police identified as a drug dealer, was found in front of the newspaper's offices. Later, soldiers found the body of the man in another part of the city, along with a note saying, "This is what is going to happen to those who going around sticking their noses into things. The army is not going to be able to help them. You are next . . . you know what I'm talking about blabbermouth."

Padilla said that he is concerned for his own safety as well as that of the newspaper's employees.

On 9 June, "El Correo de Tabasco" was published with a blank front page as a protest against the threats.

The international organization, Reporters Without Borders, condemned the threats in a press released dated 9 June, saying that the newspaper had recently published information relating to immigration issues, smuggling and kidnappings in the area.

According to media defence organisations, Mexico is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to work, largely because of the risks associated with reporting on the country's powerful drug cartels and corruption by authorities.

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