Mexican magazine fined for publishing electoral advertising

One week after a car bomb exploded in front of the Mexican newspaper Expreso's offices -- and authorities have yet to identify anyone responsible for the attack -- another publication from the same publishing company also has come under attack, this time from the local Electoral Board, which has fined the magazine Conexión Total about $12,500, reported the newspaper Hoy Tamaulipas on Thursday, March 29. Both Expreso and Conexión Total are located in the state of Tamaulipas. The fine was levied against the publication for running advertisements for a federal congressional candidate before the start of the official campaign period established by the Federal Electoral Institute, and for placing billboards in the streets depicting a cover of the magazine with a photo of the candidate.

The fine could be collected shortly, as if the publication does not appeal the fine or voluntarily pay it within 15 days, then the Department of Finance could recover the money via a tax credit, explained the radio program W1420.

Although the motives behind the recent explosion attacks on media in Tamaulipas remain unknown, one journalist suggested that they are an attempt to intimidate the press before the upcoming general elections in July, since none of the targeted media report often on organized crime, said the journalist on condition of anonymity, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

"As Mexico prepares for national elections, authorities must send a clear message that they will not tolerate attacks on vital democratic institutions such as the press," said Carlos Lauría, CPJ's senior program coordinator for the Americas. "The government must thoroughly investigate these attacks on Expreso and Televisa and bring the perpetrators to justice."