Miami (June 28, 20109)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned two attacks carried out in less than a week against the offices of two media outlets in the Mexican state of Coahuila and called for an urgent investigation to identify those responsible.
IAPA President Alejandro Aguirre, editor of the Miami, Florida, Spanish-language newspaper Diario Las Américas, currently on Mexico City on official mission, declared, “We are confounded by the state of violence in Mexico, where it appears that lawbreakers and organized crime are engaged in barbarian crimes against freedom of the press. It is urgent that state and federal authorities make strong efforts to hunt down those behind the crimes and ensure the safety of journalists and news media.”
The Coahuila Attorney General’s Office informed that on Friday, June 24 at around 2:30 p.m. men armed with AR-15 automatic rifles and 9mm pistols reportedly fired more than 160 shots at the transmission tower and relay facilities of the Televisa network in Torreón. There were no reports of injuries.
In another attack in the same city two days earlier at around 1:00 p.m., unidentified assailants shot more than 50 times at the main door of the newspaper Noticias del Sol de la Laguna, wounding a receptionist employed by the paper in the head and arm. The paper’s editor, Javier Adame, has received threats.
Robert Rivard, editor of the San Antonio Express-News, Texas, and chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, added that “As long as violence goes unpunished the wrong message is sent to news media and in order to safeguard their journalists they will continue to resort to self-censorship as a defense against violence.”
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org