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Gunmen attack offices of daily newspaper in Acapulco

(CEPET/IFEX) - At approximately 10:30 p.m. on 10 November 2010, the offices of the daily newspaper "El Sur" in Acapulco, Guerrero, were attacked by armed men. According to "El Sur" personnel, the gunmen arrived at the daily's offices in two trucks. They parked in front of the building and began shooting at the façade, at which point the newspaper's staff, who were preparing the next day's edition of the paper, ran for cover. The gunmen then entered the building and fired more shots, hitting the walls, ceilings, windows and desks. They subsequently poured gasoline in the area with the apparent intention of setting it on fire, but failed to do so. Despite the damages to the building, no one was injured in the attack.

Preliminary investigations revealed the presence of a variety of bullet casing types in the building's lobby and inner offices, and around the exterior, including those used in AK-47s. As they fled, the gunmen left a second can full of gasoline in the street near the building.

In a radio interview, "El Sur" editor Juan Angulo said that, although it would be easy to attribute the attack to organised crime groups, the possibility of a political motive should also be investigated since the daily has recently had strong disagreements with the governor of Guerrero, Zeferino Torreblanca. Angulo said the attack was carried out in silence and that the gunmen did not leave any messages. "The governor's attitude toward the newspaper has been very hostile . . . I am not making an accusation, but we don't want an assumption to be made automatically that this attack was carried out within the context of the violence resulting from the activities of organised crime groups in the area. We have not received any threats and we have been very careful in our coverage of these issues, never taking sides in the conflicts that are taking place," Angulo added.

Officers from the municipal, state and federal police forces arrived at the "El Sur" building following emergency calls made by the daily's staff. The initial investigation into the incident is being carried out by the regional branch of the Attorney General's Office in Acapulco. In its 11 November editorial, the newspaper called on the authorities to immediately carry out a thorough and transparent investigation and stated that it holds the state authorities responsible for the implementing sufficient, clear and effective measures to ensure that journalists can safely carry out their work in Guerrero.

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)
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