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Television station suffers grenade attack in Nuevo Laredo; newspaper receives bomb threat in Ciudad Juárez

(CEPET/IFEX) - On 30 July 2010, the Televisa media conglomerate's Canal 57 television station in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas state, was attacked by unidentified individuals who threw a grenade at the station's office building. No one was injured in the attack but the building's windows and main entrance door were damaged, along with three vehicles that were parked at the station. The attack reportedly took place at approximately 7:00 p.m.

Municipal and state police officers cordoned off the area surrounding the building while federal agents and military personnel assumed responsibility for recovering evidence from the scene of the attack. The National Attorney General's Office opened an investigation into the attack and announced that ballistics experts have been assigned to the case.

In a separate incident earlier on the same day, the daily "Norte" in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua state, received an anonymous bomb threat that resulted in the evacuation of the newspaper's personnel from its offices.

Guadalupe Salcido, the daily's news director, said that it took 40 minutes for state police officers to answer calls for assistance from the newspaper's staff and that the municipality's emergency response centre never did respond to their calls. In addition, it took nearly an hour after the threat was received via a telephone call to the newspaper's reception desk before federal police officers arrived with specialised equipment to check for the presence of explosives. They, however, failed to open an investigation to determine the origin of the threat.

At nearly the same time, there were reports that a similar threat had been received by the "El Mexicano" newspaper. However, the newspaper's staff denied that they had received such a threat.

This incident took place in the context of threats issued by organised crime groups in Ciudad Juárez who had given an ultimatum, with a deadline of 30 July, saying they would detonate a car bomb if a number of officials who were allegedly providing protection to members of the Sinaloa drug cartel were not arrested.

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)

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