Mexican drug gang allegedly behind banners threatening Guatemalan media

Alleged members of Los Zetas, one of Mexico’s biggest criminal organizations, were arrested while posting a banner threatening the press in the western Guatemalan city of Quetzaltenango, Observador Global reports.

The message claimed responsibility for the May 15 massacre of 27 farm workers and said that while “this war is not with…the press,” it warned the media that this could change. “Press, tone it down…before the war is against you. Those who are forewarned are forearmed,” read the message, according to a photograph published by Siglo21,

Cerigua reports via IFEX that the message was posted in other parts of Guatemala as well.

This is the second time Los Zetas have targeted the press in Guatemala. In December 2010, gang members forced a radio station to read Zeta propaganda under threat that their families would be killed and the station burned down, Cerigua adds.

The group has used similar tactics against the press in Mexico as part of the violence that has made it one of the most dangerous countries in the world to practice journalism. The growth of such violence in Guatemala has lead to increasing self-censorship in the areas most affected by drug trafficking.

Other Related Headlines:
» Knight Center (Latin America second most dangerous region for journalists, says Amnesty International report)
» Organization of American States (OAS Secretary General Condemns Massacre of Guatemalan Field Workers)

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.