Monday, August 16, 2010

Grenade Hurled at Televisa Office in Monterrey


A grenade was thrown at the Televisa office in Monterrey, the capital of the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, but no one was injured and the blast only caused some damage, a spokesman for the media company said on Sunday.

Several men traveling in an SUV hurled the grenade early Sunday at the Televisa facility.

The grenade exploded under an SUV parked in front of the television network’s building, damaging the vehicle and some offices belonging to another business across the street from Televisa Monterrey, the company spokesman said.

Two Televisa employees had to be treated for shock by paramedics after the blast.

This is the second grenade attack on the Televisa network in Monterrey in the past two years.

Masked gunmen tossed a grenade and fired several shots at the Televisa offices in downtown Monterrey on Jan. 6, 2009, but no injuries were reported.

The attack occurred at night and the facility was evacuated and cordoned off by Federal Police officers, state police and army troops.

The assailants drove past the Televisa offices, opening fire and throwing a grenade at the building.

Shortly after the attack, soldiers and police found an abandoned vehicle, apparently used by the attackers, that contained a threatening message for Televisa Monterrey.

“You better stop reporting about us already. Also report about the ‘narcoleaders.’ This is a warning,” the message said.

At least five Televisa journalists, including reporters and cameramen, have quit in Monterrey in the past few months because of the climate of violence in Mexico’s largest industrial city.

The media company has purchased bullet-proof vests for reporters who cover organized crime and drug trafficking stories.

Televisa’s facilities have also been attacked in the northeastern cities of Nuevo Laredo, Torreon and Matamoros.

Hundreds of journalists staged protests on Aug. 7 in different cities to draw attention to the violence against reporters in Mexico from both the security forces and criminals.

At least 64 journalists have been murdered and 11 others are missing since 2000 in Mexico, which is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.

The Mexican press experienced a “tragic” July, Reporters Without Borders said in a statement earlier this month.

At least two Mexican reporters were murdered, another disappeared and one was forced to flee to the United States last month, the Paris-based press rights group, known as RSF, said.

Four journalists kidnapped on July 26 in Gomez Palacio, in the northwestern state of Durango, were later released.

The border state of Nuevo Leon has been rocked by a wave of violence unleashed by drug traffickers battling for control of smuggling routes into the United States.

The violence has intensified in the border state since the appearance in February in Monterrey of giant banners heralding an alliance of the Gulf, Sinaloa and La Familia Michoacana drug cartels against Los Zetas, a band of Mexican special forces deserters turned hired guns.

After several years as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.

The cartels arrayed against Los Zetas blame the group’s involvement in kidnappings, armed robbery and extortion for discrediting “true drug traffickers” in the eyes of ordinary Mexicans willing to tolerate the illicit trade as long as the gangs stuck to their own unwritten rule against harming innocents.

More than 200 people, including 30 police officers, have died in the gang war in Nuevo Leon.

1 comment:

  1. If the Mexican government can't provide enough security to protect the news media, the one group that can sway public support in favor of wining the drug war, how can they expect to ever be respected by anyone?

    ReplyDelete

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