Mexican Newspaper Director Beaten in Ongoing Violence Against Journalists

By: Oswaldo Alonso The general manager of a local Mexican newspaper was attacked by three unidentified assailants who warned him that he was a marked man.

Eolo Pacheco Rodriguez, general manager of El Regional del Sur, in the central city of Cuernavaca, was dragged by three assailants into a truck and then beaten Wednesday afternoon, local news media reported.

Before they let Pacheco go, the attackers told him that he had been singled out as a target, Pacheco declared in a statement to police.

Local prosecutor Juan Manuel Ramirez Gama said the attack was an isolated incident, motivated by robbery, but the local journalism community condemned it as a threat against the news media.

?We want punishment!? Pacheco's newspaper declared on its Web site. ?El Regional del Sur repudiates the aggression against Eolo Pacheco Rodriguez at the hands of individuals who, in their own words, had been ordered to beat up and even kill him.?

Press freedom groups say Mexico has become one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists, with at least seven journalists killed across the country since October.

Earlier this month, a newspaper publisher in the southern state of Oaxaca was shot several times in what he called payback for his coverage of theft and corruption allegedly involving the state-run oil company Pemex. He survived the attack.

In May, a television crew for the TV Azteca network disappeared in the increasingly violent northern city of Monterrey, and in April the Acapulco correspondent for the Televisa network was fatally shot.

In July, intelligence reports emerged that drug traffickers were planning to kill foreign journalists along the U.S.-Mexico border. U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza condemned the threats.


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