By: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
(AP) Gunmen attacked two newspaper photographers Thursday in the drug war-torn border city of Ciudad Juarez, killing one and seriously wounding the other.
Luis Carlos Santiago and Carlos Sanchez, of the Diario de Juarez, were driving to lunch when gunmen in two cars intercepted them and opened fire, newspaper director Pedro Torres told The Associated Press.
Santiago, 21, was killed and Sanchez was in serious condition, Torres said.
Torres said he did not know why the photographers were targeted. He said Santiago had just started working for the newspaper two weeks ago, and Sanchez was an intern.
Mexican journalists are increasingly under siege from drug cartels seeking to control the flow of information.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based watchdog group, said in a recent report that at least 22 Mexican journalists have been killed since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon intensified a crackdown on drug cartels by deploying tens of thousands of troops and federal police across the country.
Gang violence has since surged, claiming more than 28,000 lives as the splintered cartels fight with each other and attack on security forces, government officials and journalists.
Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, has become one of the deadliest cities in the world amid a two-year-old turf war between the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels. More than 4,000 people have been killed in the city of 1.3 million in last two years.
In its report, the committee called for an urgent “full-scale federal response” to the dangers facing Mexican journalists, criticizing the government for failing to resolve most of the killings.
Later Thursday, Torres, too, angrily criticized the impunity during an interview with Milenio Television.
“This make us very angry. It’s not the first time this has happened,” Torres said, his voice breaking. “It’s very painful.”
The Interior Department condemned the attack against the two journalists and said the federal Attorney General’s Office was helping state authorities investigate.
The department vowed authorities would do everything in their power to “bring those responsible to justice as soon as possible.”
Several Mexican newspapers have stopped reporting on drug-gang violence after their journalists have been attacked.
However, El Diario de Juarez, the main newspaper in the city, is not one of them.
In 2008, a crime reporter for the newspaper, Armando Rodriguez, was killed outside his home. The next year, federal agent who had been investigating Rodriguez’s death was killed.