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Nayarit TV station targeted in gunfire attack

(CEPET/IFEX) - Early in the morning of 17 May 2010, a group of unidentified individuals attacked the offices of TV station XHKG Canal 2, in Tepic, Nayarit state, with AK-47 rifles and fragmentation grenades. There were no reported injuries. During investigations, a card was found that attributed responsibility for the attack to drug trafficking groups.

According to Enrique Berumen, the station's head of information, the attack on the offices and studios took place at 1:15 a.m., when the station had finished its broadcast and the only person present was the security guard. He was in another part of the building when the attack took place and was not injured.

Berumen said that aside from an explosive that was found in front of the building, military personnel found 103 spent bullet casings and two fragmentation grenades that had not exploded. The grenades were found on the roof of the building and inside one of the offices on top of a desk. Bullet holes were found in the walls, doors and windows of the station's offices, as well as the broadcast studio.

Outside the Canal 2 studios, a message was found referring to drug cartels or cartel leaders, such as La Gente Nueva, Chapo Guzmán and Nacho Coronel. Berumen did not want to speculate on who was responsible for the attack before investigations were complete. "The country is immersed in violence. This could be a result of that violence, or it could be a warning to all of us in the media. I don't know. I wish I did, but I have no idea," he said.

The number of the attackers and their identity is unknown. Before this incident the station had not received threats or been warned of any type of retaliation.

This is the first time that a media outlet has been directly targeted in Nayarit. In January 2009, the offices of Televisa Monterrey suffered a similar attack with grenades and gunfire. The local governor, Ney González, wrote on his Facebook page that he had been "personally" overseeing the case since it had been brought to his attention and said that he was helping to provide security services for the owners of the station and the journalists.

In a communiqué released on 17 May the National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, CNDH) condemned the attack and said that there was no justification for attempting to restrict the work of the press. They also called on authorities to carry out an effective investigation of the incident and to punish those responsible.

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