A group of men armed with automatic rifles fired shots at the offices of Mexican TV network Televisa in the northern state of Coahuila, in what was the second attack on media outlet in that state in less than a week, officials said.
The Coahuila state Attorney General’s Office said a group of gunmen fired more than 160 rounds with AR-15 assault rifles and 9mm pistols Friday afternoon at the antenna and offices of Mexico’s main TV network in the city of Torreon.
The AG office said the attack occurred when the employees were having their lunch break and that therefore no personnel were killed or injured by the gunshots, which caused only material damage.
The prosecutors added that because the gunmen fired at the antenna, bullets also struck the top floors of a luxury apartment building located behind the installations.
On June 22, the Coahuila state AG office said that another group of gunmen attacked the Noticias del Sol de la Laguna daily, firing more than 50 shots at the front entrance to the building.
In that attack, one of the receptionists at the newspaper was wounded in the arm and head, the AG office confirmed.
Paris-based media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders, known by the French initials RSF, issued a warning about threats made against Javier Adame, a reporter at the daily targeted in the attack.
Days earlier, unknown assailants launched fragmentation grenades at the El Zocalo newspaper in the border city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, although that attack only caused material damage.
Since March of this year, after clashes intensified between the Gulf cartel and its former armed wing, Los Zetas, in northeastern Mexico, journalists in Tamaulipas, Coahuila and Nuevo Leon have received threats aimed at forcing them to stop publishing news related to drug trafficking.
Mexico has been plagued in recent years by drug-related violence blamed on powerful cartels.
Mexico’s most powerful drug-trafficking organizations, according to experts, are the Sinaloa, Tijuana, Gulf, Juarez, Los Zetas and Beltran Leyva cartels, and La Familia Michoacana.
President Felipe Calderon, who took office in December 2006, has deployed 50,000 soldiers and 20,000 federal police nationwide to combat drug cartels and other criminal organizations.
The anti-drug operation, however, has failed to put a dent in the violence due, according to experts, to drug cartels’ ability to buy off the police and even high-ranking officials.