Saturday, November 02, 2013

Mexico:Two radio stations attacked with gasoline bombs


Around 15 masked men armed with gasoline bombs overran two radio stations owned by a local politician in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, a town in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, in the early hours of 28 October, destroying their transmission equipment.

The assailants attacked the radio stations' caretaker and his family and the two journalists on duty at the time, Vladimir Rimbón Bonora and Arturo García Landeros, who was injured by a machete blow. He is now recovering from his injuries.

The two radio stations, La Estrella Maya que Habla and La FM Maya, are owned by Sebastián Uc Yam, who until recently was the town's mayor.

“We firmly condemn this attack and we hope the investigation launched by the Quintana Roo state prosecutor's office will succeed in identifying those responsible,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“We urge the authorities to examine the possibility that the motive was linked to the two radio stations' journalistic work and not automatically assume it was Sebastián Uc Yam's political activities. The Special Attorney's office for Crimes against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) must take part in the investigations, and Reporters Without Borders calls on the government to guarantee the safety of the radio workers.”

The police took more than an hour to get to the scene of the attack, accompanied by a few soldiers. La Estrella Maya que Habla presenter Hermelindo Martínez Cruz said it was not the first time the station had been attacked, adding that no investigation was carried out when he was kidnapped for a few hours in July 2012.

Attacks on journalists in Mexico usually go unsolved and unpunished. With 88 journalists killed in the past decade, and 17 others that have disappeared, Mexico is one of the world's most dangerous countries for the media.