Public Safety Department pulls advertising from Mexican newspaper

The Mexican newspaper Diario de Juárez accused the Department of Public Safety of refusing to grant official advertising to the newspaper since February 20.

The head of the department of Public Safety, Genero García Luna, led the owner of the newspaper, Osvaldo Rodríguez Borunda, to believe that the reason advertising was pulled was because the newspaper did not publish the agency's version of events. “This is false, because when we have a critical story, we seek out their of view and the spokespeople don't answer us," said Pedro Torres Estrada, assistant editor of the newspaper in the border city of Ciudad Juárez, according to the Center for Journalism and Ethics (CEPET in Spanish).

The owner of the newspaper sent a letter dated March 16 to the secretary, reaffirming the newspaper's commitment to including the official version of spokespeople for Federal Police, and in exchange, asking the communications personnel to respond to journalists' information requests.

In an editorial, the newspaper criticized the use of public funds to impose censorship, adding that the department's decision to pull advertising sent a message to federal police about the attitude they can hold and actions they can take take against journalists from the newspaper.

According to the newspaper, a similar issue occurred in April 2011, and after a discussion the department reconsidered and started buying advertising again.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas previously has reported on the tense relations between security forces and journalists in Ciudad Juárez. Organizations like Article 19 have highlighted how the federal and state governments of Mexico withdrew official advertising from major newspapers like Diario A.M. of Guanajuato and Diario de Yucatán, magazines like Contralínea and Proceso, and even radio stations like Radio Bemba.

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