A Mexican newspaper has been attacked for the first time this month, according to newspaper officials, who said that noone had been injured.
A group of armed men broke into the office of El Norte newspaper in the northern city of Monterrey, and proceeded to set the building on fire. Firemen reached the site in good time and were able to extinguish the fire successfully, while fifteen employees who were in the office at the time of the incident escaped with no major injuries.
"Each time Mexican authorities fail to effectively investigate an attack on the press, it emboldens assailants and fuels a new round of violent intimidation," said Carlos Lauría, the Committee to Protect Journalists's senior programme coordinator for the Americas on their website. "Authorities have a duty to prevent the criminals from controlling the streets and the flow of information and they can start by solving this violent spree against the El Norte publications."
Police and experts claim that the attack may have been an attempt by the drug gangs to intimidate the newspaper officials due to their reporting on drug-trafficking related violence.
El Norte is a part of Reforma, one of Mexico's biggest newspaper chains.
According to the International Press Institute Death Watch, 10 journalists were killed in Mexico last year, making it the most dangerous country in the world to work as a reporter. Many of the killers walk away without facing prosecution and these numbers have not improved considerably despite the government's claim to provide protection to journalists.