Gunmen shoot up offices of Mexican newspaper, no injuries

·2 mins read

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Unidentified assailants opened fire on the offices of a newspaper in the Mexican city of Iguala Tuesday, two days after a journalist from another outlet was killed there along with a policeman protecting him.

The prosecutors' office in the southern state of Guerrero said nobody was injured in the attack, which affected the facade of the newspaper’s offices. The newspaper Diario de Iguala said nobody was working at the offices because of the coronavirus lockdown.

The paper said in a statement that it does not publish stories on crime and violence, topics that sometimes anger gangs. But it did say it had been forced by economic circumstances to handle printing jobs for other papers, and stressed it wasn’t responsible for their editorial content.

“We energetically condemn the attack on the Diario de Iguala. Guaranteeing freedom of expression and social peace is the Mexican government's priority,” Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero wrote in her Twitter account.

Iguala has long been the scene of drug gang violence. In 2014, corrupt police officers kidnapped 43 students from a local teachers' college and handed them over to a gang, which allegedly killed them and burned their bodies.

On Sunday, journalist Pablo Morrugares and a state police officer guarding him were at a restaurant in Iguala when they were killed in a hail of bullets. Authorities found 55 shell casings from assault rifles at the scene. The killers apparently opened fire from a passing vehicle.

Morrugares was director of the P.M Noticias Guerrero web site, which does frequently report on the gang violence. Local media reported that threats against Morrugares had been displayed in the past on banners hung by roadsides, a tactic frequently used by drug gangs in Mexico. Morrugares and his wife had survived a previous attack in 2016, and he was subsequently give a police escort.

Morrugares was the fifth journalist to be killed in Mexico this year, in attacks which are increasingly killing police guards assigned to the victims. More than 140 journalists have been killed over the past 20 years.