Miami (July 30, 2012)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the arson attack on the premises of the newspaper El Norte, in Nuevo León, Mexico, where the newspaper produces one of their supplementary publications. This is the third attack in less than a month made on offices of said news media outlet. The organization renewed its call on the Mexican authorities to implement protective measures, and investigate and punish those responsible.
The “Sierra Madre” supplement of El Norte, which belongs to the Reforma Group, in the town of San Pedro Garza García, in Nuevo León state, was set ablaze yesterday by an armed gang that broke into the building. This was the third El Norte publication to be attacked this month. No group has claimed responsibility for the assaults.
The Chair of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Gustavo Mohme, urged Mexican authorities “to halt the pattern of terror and attacks.” Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, added that “what is needed is to ensure the physical safety of those who exercise freedom of the press, as well as to conduct investigations and bring to justice those responsible for carrying out these attacks.”
According to local media, shortly after 6:00 p.m. yesterday (July 29), at least three hooded men bearing rifles overpowered the security guard and broke into the publication offices, where they sprayed gasoline over the reception area and set it on fire. Some 15 journalists and other employees present at the time escaped uninjured. The attack, caught on security cameras, caused considerable damage.
In the same state on July 10, there was an attack with hand grenades and gunfire from AK-47 rifles on the offices of the “La Silla” and “Linda Vista” supplements, also belonging to the El Norte newspaper, in the city of Monterrey. The attack caused damage to the building.
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.