Border newspaper accuses Mexican police of harassment and intimidation

Norte newspaper, based in the U.S.-Mexico border city of Cuidad Juárez, denounced a series of incidents against its reporters by federal police forces tasked with fighting organized crime and drug trafficking, the National Center for Social Communication (CENCOS in Spanish) reports. The paper is renowned for continuing to cover drug trafficking issues in Mexico’s deadliest city.

In the most recent incident, editor and reporter Antonio Flores Shroeder was arrested at a police checkpoint June 11, Radio Pozol explains. In April, the journalist said an armed convoy followed him around the city.

Also in April, editorial director Alfredo Quijano was stopped by a group of officers, who searched and took photos of him and his family, and reporter Carlos Huerta Muñoz was arrested by the police next to the newspaper’s offices. At the end of May, Norte reporters Pablo Hernández Batista and Ismael Villagomez Tapia were arrested along with Univisión’s Luis Escalera while covering a local police operation.

Article 19 and CENCOS called on Mexico to guarantee the newspaper’s employees ability to safely exercise their freedom of expression rights.

Mexico is the most dangerous country for journalists in Latin America, as nearly 70 media workers have been killed since 2000.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.