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Newspaper distributor attacked, threatened in Mexico

Early on the morning of 1 October 2013, two armed men attacked an El Norte newspaper distributor, punching and insulting him, and using weapons to intimidate him into paying 3000 pesos (approx. US$230) to be allowed to continue distributing the paper in Arroyo La Talaverna in Guadalupe, Nuevo León.

The newspaper vendor was at the intersection of De la Zanja and Camino de San Pedro streets with 800 copies of El Norte, when his attackers pulled him out of his vehicle by the hair and made him get into a van with sliding doors, where they robbed him and then left him in a public place and threw the papers into the street.

The attackers warned that the El Norte distributor would have to pay them 3000 pesos every week to sell newspapers in the area, or else he would be killed, “And tell your bosses that if they don't get in line, we'll make it painful for them...damn tabloid!"

These threats took place in an atmosphere of intimidation that employees of the Reforma media group in the state have been experiencing. In 2012, the newspaper suffered three attacks on their offices in different parts of Monterrey.

The impunity that is prevalent in this type of attack makes it easy for these incidents against El Norte to continue taking place. In particular, the state of Nuevo León is one where the citizens have seen reduced guarantees in their rights because of increasing violence and the numerous crimes that go unpunished.

The Centro Nacional de Comunicación Social (Cencos) calls on Governor Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz to order an investigation by the Prosecutor General and for those responsible for this attack brought to justice.

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