MIAMI, Florida (May 14, 2012)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed outrage at an assault on Mexican newspaper El Mañana, whose plant located in the city of Nuevo Laredo, in the northern state of Tamaulipas, was attacked on Friday by assailants shooting and hurling an explosive device of a type not immediately identified.
In the attack, carried out by a group of unidentified persons on Friday evening, there were no reported injuries. But the front of the building and cars parked outside were damaged.
The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Gustavo Mohme, condemned the assault and declared, “This event, and the violence unleashed against four journalists in recent weeks show that the government must act urgently to implement and apply the protection law that was passed recently in Congress.”
Yesterday (May 13), in response to the lack of safety felt by media and journalists, El Mañana executives said in an editorial that their newspaper would abstain from publishing “any information deriving from the violent disputes that our city and other parts of the country are undergoing.” According to the editorial, the decision was taken due to “the lack of conditions for the unfettered practice of journalism”
Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, said, “These days the understandable attitude of self-censorship is what is really weakening the institutions and democracy itself.” He added, “It is for these reasons what is ever more urgent is for the government to defend press freedom and the public’s right to access to information.”
In 2006 El Mañana suffered a similar attack. On that occasion journalist Jaime Orozco Tey was seriously injured when a group burst into the newsroom, hurling an explosive device and shooting a burst of machine-gun fire. Two years earlier, on March 19, 2004, Roberto Mora García, El Mañana editor-in-chief, was murdered.
The IAPA last week condemned two incidents which, in less than 10 days, left four journalists dead in Veracruz city.
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.