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Three media outlets attacked in 12 hours

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - 10 July 2012, Mexico City - In three separate incidents on 10 July, the offices of the daily El Mañana in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, as well as those of the El Norte newspaper's supplements La Silla and Linda Vista, in Nuevo León, were attacked with explosives and firearms. So far, only damage to the buildings has been reported, and no one was injured.

The first attack against La Silla happened at approximately 4:30 a.m., when a fragmentation grenade was thrown by a man into the media outlet's parking lot.

Later, at 6:19 a.m., a grenade was thrown at the El Mañana offices, exploding a few metres from the main entrance and damaging the building's façade. On 11 May, the paper suffered a similar attack, after which the El Mañana directors announced they would no longer cover and publish stories on violent attacks that are the result of conflicts between criminal groups.

Finally, just after 4:00 p.m. on 10 July, the offices of Linda Vista, located in Guadalupe, Nuevo León, were also the target of a grenade attack and gunfire. The façade and windows of the building were damaged but no one was injured. Multiple AR-15 rifle bullet casings were found near the building.

ARTICLE 19 expresses solidarity with El Mañana and El Norte and is concerned over the escalating level of violence against the press with the aim of silencing reporters through intimidation. These attacks show the ineffectiveness of the actions undertaken to guarantee that the media can freely carry out their work in Nuevo León and Tamaulipas, where in little more that three years there have been 14 explosives and firearms attacks against media outlets, none of which have been solved.

ARTICLE 19 calls on the authorities to undertake an investigation into these attacks and take the necessary steps to identify and punish those responsible. The organisation also calls on President Felipe Calderón to do everything necessary to demonstrate that he has not abandoned his responsibility to protect and guarantee freedom of expression while waiting for the next administration to take office.

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)
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