Kidnappers were not happy with El Manana's news coverage
of the escalated violence in Matamoros and Reynosa
The US Consulate in Matamoros advised in a statement; it has suspended its activities until further notice because of the Tamaulipas border violence continuing since Sunday.
"Because of the increase in violence in Matamoros, staff American Consulate was being warned to restrict travel from home to work until further notice."
Also, he has asked consulate staff; to be on the alert to the presence of vehicles marked with "scorpion", "M3", "XX", " 900 "or "C7" which are involved in violence. He explains that there is greater risk of violence in Matamoros and Reynosa due to the conflict between factions of the Gulf Cartel.
Necessity, the mother of invention: Tamaulipas has been a narco news blackout state since 2009, when mainstream publications stopped reporting, or greatly reduced, news on organized crime activity. This resulted in the formation of Tamaulipas Twitterers and Situations at Risk bloggers (SDR and PSDR) such as #ReynosaFollow. which led the way to anonymous SDR blogging and tweeting across Mexico. (Lucio)
A newspaper editor from a Mexican border city considered his future Thursday; a day after three
Enrique Juarez Torres, editor of El Mañana de Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, said his kidnapping was a warning from the Gulf Cartel over publishing reports in Wednesday's newspaper about gunfights in the area that killed nine people.
A total of 15 people have reportedly been killed since the weekend as rival factions of the cartel battle between the border cities of Matamoros and Reynosa.
Thursday's edition of El Mañana in Matamoros carried no mention of Juarez's kidnapping nor the dummy grenade tossed at the door of city hall. Both stories appeared in its sister paper, El Mañana de Reynosa.
Around 4 p.m. Wednesday, Juarez was in his office on the second floor the newspaper's downtown building. Three armed men entered, asked for him and found their way to his office. They dragged him outside and pushed him into a van. He was driven around the city, punched repeatedly and told he would be killed if he continued publishing stories about the drug violence plaguing the area. They dropped him off later outside the newspaper.
This week, Matamoros and the towns along the Rio Grande north to Reynosa have been put on edge by rolling gunbattles between the rival cartel factions. The U.S. Consulate in Matamoros issued a warning to U.S. citizens on Wednesday of a "likelihood of increased violence in the Matamoros vicinity, reportedly between the Matamoros and Reynosa factions of the Gulf cartel."
Unlike its sister paper in Reynosa, which published stories Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday about the violence, El Manana in Matamoros had published nothing until Wednesday.
"Because it was a situation of 'Enough already,' there is a lot happening," Juarez said of the decision to publish. But he said the decision to break with the usual policy of not reporting on cartel violence was made by the newspaper's owners. Asked if he agreed, he said, "Truthfully, no, because I suspected that something was going to happen, and it did."
"What they did to me was a warning," Juarez said of his kidnappers. "It is a warning to all of us who work there, those who are physically in Matamoros and those who are not in Matamoros."
Juarez, who has been editor of the newspaper for five years, said the cartel had gotten his attention previously over stories related to drug activities. He said he now considered himself a "marked" man and left Matamoros Wednesday night.
The Matamoros paper will once again avoid publishing stories that could upset the cartel, he said.
According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, 76 news media workers have been slain in Mexico since 1992