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Armed men steal vehicle with 1000 copies of "La Jornada Guerrero" newspaper

(ARTICLE19/CENCOS/IFEX) - México City, 17 June 2009 - On the morning of 15 June 2009, a group of armed men stole a vehicle containing approximately 1000 copies of the daily "La Jornada Guerrero". The copies of the newspapers were destined for communities in the interior of Guerrero state, in southeastern Mexico. The front page article of the edition that was stolen was about the aggressive manner in which military personnel have been dealing with civilian populations.

The driver of the truck, Fernando Peralta, and the manager of the daily's workshop, Silvino Sánchez, were on their way to deliver the newspaper to a number of municipalities when they were intercepted by a white Nissan car with no licence plates. An armed man got out of the car and said he was in the business of robbing vehicles. He then took control of the truck. A few kilometers down the road, the thieves forces the newspaper's employees out of the vehicle and continued on.

In an interview, "La Jornada Guerrero"'s news director, Roberto Ramírez, told CENCOS and ARTICLE 19 that he finds it "very suspicious that the two newspaper employees were assaulted without having any of their belongings stolen, they only took the truck and the newspapers." He noted that a similar incident took place on 15 September 2007, when another vehicle transporting newspapers in Acapulco was stolen. "Because of this we think that this could have been a freedom of expression issue and not a simple robbery," he said.

ARTICLE 19 and CENCOS call on Guerrero State Public Prosecutor Eduardo Murueta Urrutia and State Governor Carlos Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo to initiate an investigation into the incident and punish those responsible.

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