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Shots fired at "El Debate" newspaper building in Mazatlán

(CEPET/IFEX) - In the early morning hours of 3 October 2010, assailants fired shots at the building housing "El Debate" newspaper in the city of Mazatlán, Sinaloa state. Nobody was hurt but the building's exterior was damaged. This incident took place one month after an attack against the "Noroeste" newspaper in the same city and is the second time that the "El Debate" chain has been attacked. It previously suffered a grenade attack on 17 November 2008.

The authorities and newspaper employees reported that at least two people approached the building in a vehicle at approximately 5:15 in the morning and fired several shots at the building's façade and main entrance. Several employees in the distribution and circulation departments were in the building at the time, but they were unharmed. Municipal police officers and army officials recovered three used cartridges and counted 23 bullet holes in the building's exterior.

The authorities have opened an investigation into the incident and are considering it a violation of the Federal Law on the Use of Firearms Exclusively Designated for the Army. Officials from the prosecutor's office said that it was impossible to collect more evidence because the rain that fell on the morning of the attack could have altered the crime scene. However, there is a videotape of a moving vehicle assumed to be the car that the gunmen used.

Journalists for "El Debate" told CEPET that they had not received prior threats or warnings about a possible attack. In an editorial published issued on 4 October, the directors of the newspaper condemned the attack and demanded that the government re-establish peace and security in the region. The editorial also reaffirmed the newspaper's commitment to freedom of expression and its responsibility to its readers.

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)
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    (CEPET/IFEX) - In the early hours of 17 November 2008, two grenades were thrown into the offices of "El Debate" newspaper in Culiacán, Sinaloa state, northern Mexico. No one was injured as a result of the attack.

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