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Mexico13 May 2005

Crude bomb destroys the car of the editor of Primera Hora in Nuevo Laredo

Reporters Without Borders said it was appalled at a bid to intimidate newspaper editor Pedro Pérez Natividad of the daily Primera Hora whose vehicle was wrecked by a crude bomb in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas State in the north-east on 10 May.

The bombing was the second attack against a journalist in the same city since the start of the year. Dolores Guadalupe García Escamilla, of Estéreo 91 XHNOE radio, died from her injuries on 16 April after a being shot 11 days earlier.

"The climate of terror and impunity for which journalists pay the price in Mexico’s northern states is reaching alarming and unacceptable proportions", said Reporters Without Borders.

"Once again we call for a serious investigation to unmask not only the killers but those who order these repeated bombings against the press. We also hope that the special prosecutor’s office, set up at a federal level, will support the judicial process", the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

Natividad’s van was parked in front of his home a few streets from the newspaper’s offices when the interior was completely wrecked by a crude bomb. Police found a Coca-Cola bottle and a petrol-soaked cloth inside the vehicle.

"I have no enemies or fight with anyone. I am afraid because I don’t know where the threat could come from", the editor told Reporters Without Borders. Natividad also said he had not received any warning, although a colleague specialised in criminal cases had been sent threats that were intercepted by the police. Dolores Guadalupe García Escamilla had also been threatened before being attacked.

An article in Primera Hora about drug-traffickers might have been behind the attack on Natividad but he pointed out, "This case goes back eight months and it was reported on by all the media, based on information provided by the authorities."

Witnesses said they saw a man of around 1.70m in height wearing a striped shirt fleeing the scene after the explosion. The Primera Hora editor has been receiving Tamaulipas state police protection since 12 May.



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