Mexican cartel threatens to burn down newspaper, radio station

Alleged leaders of the cartel Zetas threatened a local newspaper and radio station in the small city of Izúcar de Matamoros, in southeast Mexico, reported the news site e-Consulta.com.

A reporter from the newspaper Enlace de la Mixteca Poblana said that he received a phone call from an alleged member of Los Zetas who requested approximately $4,000 from him and threatened to burn the newspaper's headquarters if he didn't pay, reported the news site Clases de Periodismo.

In the same city of the state of Puebla, another member of Los Zetas threatened the station Radio Festival and minutes after the threat, three men arrived looking for the news host and said in a threatening tone “we have come for him.”

According to the report, the state and federal authorities are investigating the cases. Meanwhile, the criminal group has not gone through with their threats against the two news media venues.

Because of the constant attacks against the Mexican press, the Foundation for Freedom of Expression requested state congresses to urgently approve the Constitutional amendment to Article 73, which would allow for the federal government to investigate and prosecute crimes against journalists and Mexican news media. On Tuesday, April 24, the Mexican senate also approved a bill that would force the federal government to provide protection for threatened journalists. The bill is based on a consultation with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, NGOs, journalists, and experts.

Mexico is considered the most dangerous country in the Americas for journalism, as since the year 2000, the majority of the 74 journalist killings remain unpunished. See this map about attacks on the Mexican press.