Thursday, October 3, 2013
Newspaper in Monterrey under extortion threat
Employees of El Norte news daily in Nuevo Leon state were threatened with "consequences" if the newspaper failed to pay MEX $3,000 a month in protection money, according to Mexican news accounts.
A Thursday news article featured in AnimalPolitico.com said that a truck driven by a distributor carrying 800 copes of the newspaper was stopped Tuesday by armed suspects who apparently hit the driver, pointed weapons and left the message of the demand.
El Norte, as with many newspapers in northeastern Mexico, are under near constant threat of harm from organized crime, crime including threats of harm if information is published to extortion, a crime which is the most pervasive in Mexico.
Drug war news in Tamaulipas is at a premium due to threats from organized crime, especially in Nuevo Laredo, the home of Los Zetas drug cartel.
According to the AnimalPolico.com article, El Norte offices was attacked three times last July, two of them on July 10th including attacks using hand grenades in their La Silla and Linda Vista offices in Monterrey Almost three weeks later, the offices for the Sierra Madre edition was firebombed.
Newspapers are not the only victims of organized crime. Offices of Televisa and other television stations have been attacked in the past in Monterrey as well as in Tamaulipas' border cities.
The threat issued to El Norte specifically demanded payment of protection money to continue distributing newspapers in northern Monterrey.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburgcom and Borderlandbeat.com. His latest work of non-fiction, the Wounded Eagle, Volume 2, can be found at Smashwords and Amazon.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org