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Gunmen open fire on journalist's home in Zacatecas, Mexico

This article was originally published on rsf.org on 6 October 2014.

Gunmen using large-calibre firearms opened fire on journalist Margarito Juárez's home in Fresnillo, in the central state of Zacatecas, in the early hours of 30 September but failed to injure anyone although Juárez and his children were inside at the time.

Juárez, who works for the newspaper Página 24 and Radio B15, said the shots penetrated several rooms including the bedroom where he was sleeping. Shots were also fired at his car.

He filed a complaint with the Zacatecas state prosecutor's office, which is investigating the shooting and has given him protection.

Juárez said he had been threatened verbally by Fresnillo municipal president Benjamín Medrano after writing an article about a case of alleged corruption involving the municipal president and the Los Zetas criminal organization, dating back to 2008.

He also reported that his car was stolen and set on fire last year, and that copies of Página 24 were left at the scene.

“We urge the authorities not to rule out the possibility that the motive for the attack on Juárez's home was linked to his work as a journalist,” Reporters Without Borders assistant programme director Virginie Dangles
said.

“Journalists in Mexico are constantly the target of intimidation and reprisals in connection with their work. Police investigations into crimes of violence against journalists must result in the arrest and trial of those responsible or else the prevailing impunity will keep encouraging those who want to silence the media.”

Latin America's deadliest country for the media, with 80 journalists killed in probable or possible connection with their work since 2000, Mexico is ranked 152nd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

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