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Explosives detonated outside newspaper office in Jalisco, Mexico

Early in the morning of 17 April 2013, two explosive devices were detonated outside the office of the Mural newspaper in Zapopan, Jalisco. There was some damage to the building but no one was hurt.

This is the seventh attack on a media outlet belonging to the Grupo Reforma media company since 2010, and the first in Jalisco. The other six took place in Nuevo León, against the El Norte paper. Grupo Reforma and Televisa are the two media companies that have come under the greatest number of attacks in the last four years. Televisa has been targeted 10 times since 2009.

According to the Mural website, the first device exploded at 3:24 a.m. in the parking lot, under one of the employees' vehicle. This prevented splinters from flying everywhere. The second device exploded minutes after, by the main entrance, resulting in some damage to the door.

ARTICLE 19 was able to speak with Francisco Mercado, Human Resources Manager at Mural, who said that the staff is relatively calm and carrying on with their work. According to Mercado, the paper had not received any threats over its reporting. "We don't know where this is coming from, the authorities are pursuing various avenues and we will keep our readers informed," he said.

Beyond the attack on the daily, a wave of violence has recently hit the state of Jalisco. On 16 April, one day before it was targeted, Mural published a story on the appearance of certain flyers alleging that a Jalisco drug cartel is behind some self-defense and community-based security groups that are active in Michoacán and Jalisco.

On 15 April, the newspaper reported on the arrest of two men who had taken part in a shoot out with the authorities in Zapopan. On 13 April, Mural covered two stories on violent crimes in Guadalajara and reactions to the shooting of a bodyguard for the former Jalisco interior minister.

Since the beginning of 2013, there have been four attacks on media outlets in Mexico. The attack on Mural is the 46th incident involving a media outlet since 2006.

As regards the state of Jalisco, this is the first time a media outlet has been targeted in 2013 and the second since 2012; in other words, the state has experienced one of the lowest numbers of attacks on free expression in the country.

ARTICLE 19 calls on the federal and state authorities to shed light on the attack as soon as possible and ensure that Mural employees and partners are provided with the necessary security measures.

Please note this is an abridged translation.

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