* Newspaper suffers second grenade attack this year
* Editor says it is too risky to cover violence
* Mexico third most dangerous country for journalists
By Ioan Grillo
MEXICO CITY, July 11 A newspaper in Mexico's
violent city of Nuevo Laredo announced on Wednesday it will end
coverage of drug-related bloodshed, one day after grenades
damaged its offices for the second time this year.
Many Mexican news organizations have decided to report only
basic facts about murders and massacres in recent years. But it
is rare for a newspaper to drop coverage altogether.
Tuesday's attack on the daily El Manana was among the latest
incidents that have made Mexico one of the world's most
dangerous places for journalists.
El Manana said in an editorial that it was too dangerous to
report on the execution-style murders, car bombs and
decapitations that have terrorized residents in the city across
the border from Laredo, Texas.
"The editorial board of the company has come to this
regrettable decision because of the circumstances that we all
know about and the lack of conditions to freely carry out
journalism," it said.
"El Manana ... does not want to serve the petty interests of
any de-facto power or criminal group," the newspaper said.
On Tuesday assailants fired at the newspaper's main offices
with a grenade launcher, damaging the building but causing no
injuries. A similar attack occurred on May 11.
The city south of the Rio Grande has seen a surge in
violence in recent months as the brutal Zetas cartel battle
rivals for control of lucrative drug smuggling routes.
In one recent incident, 14 severed heads were dumped on the
street close to Nuevo Laredo's town hall in ice boxes.
Cartel gunmen across Mexico have been known to attack
journalists over unfavorable coverage, as well as pressure
reporters to cover mass murders they carry out.
SOCIAL MEDIA IN CROSSHAIRS
The decision will further limit the information flowing out
of Nuevo Laredo, located in the major U.S.-Mexico border-trading
When a car bomb detonated in the city two days before
Mexico's July 1 presidential election, there was almost no video
footage or photos of the incident.
With a lack of mainstream media coverage, some have turned
to social media to post information about shootouts and
But the cartels have even killed people and left notes near
their bodies to warn against posting on the Internet.
On Tuesday assailants also fired assault rifles and grenades
at two offices of El Norte in the business city of Monterrey, a
signal that a cartel may have organized simultaneous attacks
against the newspapers.
No one was injured in the Monterrey attacks, the newspaper
reported. El Norte is owned by Reforma, one of Mexico's most
important newspaper chains.
More than 80 Mexican journalists have been murdered since
2000, according to the National Human Rights Commission, with
many of those killed reporting on crime and police.
Last year Mexico was the third deadliest country in the
world for journalists after Pakistan and Iraq, according to
Reporters Without Borders.
There have been more than 55,0000 drug related killings and
more than 6,000 disappearances during President Felipe
Calderon's six-year offensive against the cartels.
President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto, who will replace
Calderon in December, promises to dramatically reduce the
(Editing by Xavier Briand)