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Mexico29 June 2006

Journalist suspects state governor of ordering petrol bomb attack against his home

Reporters Without Borders condemned a petrol bomb attack on the home of journalist Manuel Acuña López, reporter on the local daily Por Esto, in Mérida, Yucatán state.

“We demand that the authorities do their utmost to identify and punish those who carried out and those who instigated this crime,” said Reporters Without Borders. “We call on members of the government in Yucatán and particularly on Patricio Patrón Laviada, the governor, to take effective steps to protect the media,” the press freedom organisation added.

“We also urge them to allow journalists freedom of movement and expression which is essential for them to carry out their work.”

Acuña López himself publicly accused the state governor Patricio Patrón Laviada of being implicated in the 21 June overnight attack on his home which started a fire, destroying walls and doors and wrecking a vehicle parked outside.

His wife and children suffered severe shock and smoke inhalation. Local residents managed to put out the fire.

The journalist had received several warnings from the governor after he wrote articles exposing alleged corruption and nepotism within his administration. He also wrote an editorial revealing that he had been advised a few days previously to “moderate” some of his reports that were likely to harm state officials.

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