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Gunmen attack journalist's home in Mexico

The home of a Mexican crime and politics beat reporter was attacked early Monday morning in Zacatecas state, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Unidentified gunmen shot at the home and vehicle of Margarito Juárez González at around 4 a.m. as he and his family slept, according to his employer, the daily Página 24. The house and the car were damaged, but no one was harmed in the attack. Juárez, a correspondent for Página 24 in Fresnillo city, told his employer that the bullets grazed their heads as they slept. "I thought we were going to die," he said.

"We call on authorities to ensure the safety of journalist Margarito Juárez González and his family," Carlos Lauría, CPJ's Senior Programme Coordinator for the Americas, from New York. "It is exactly these kinds of attacks that have terrified many local journalists into silence. Authorities must bring those responsible for this crime to justice and ensure that reporters can do their jobs without fearing for their lives."

Arturo Nahle García, attorney-general for Zacatecas state, said the attack was possibly in connection with Juárez's coverage of crime in Fresnillo. An investigation was ongoing, he said.

Juárez has been critical in his coverage of local politics. He has reported on crime and local issues like mismanagement of municipal money and the lack of security in the city. Juárez has faced reprisal for his reporting in recent months. In December 2013, his vehicle was stolen and torched, Luis Gerardo Esparza, editor of Página 24 in Zacatecas city, told CPJ. Two copies of Página 24 were left on the burned-out hood. The case remains unsolved, Esparza said.

Zacatecas has been hit hard by organized crime violence over the past five years. The presence of organised crime in the state has forced local reporters to practice self-censorship in order to stay safe, according to CPJ research. Drug-related violence has made Mexico one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.

Date posted: October 3, 2014 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 7