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Mexican newspaper closes print edition after attack

July 31, 2019

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A newspaper in the city of Parral in northern Mexico decided to temporarily stop publishing its print edition Wednesday after unidentified assailants tossed gasoline bombs at its office.

In an editorial, El Monitor de Parral said it will continue with its digital edition, but will not cover any crime stories or news “with a political slant.”

“We will not publish absolutely any crime story, no matter how important it might be,” the editorial said.

The newspaper referred to an “attack by a group of people” Wednesday, but gave no specifics and no one answered phone calls to its offices.

The prosecutors’ office in the northern border state of Chihuahua, where Parral is located, said in a statement that it condemned the attack and promised an “exhaustive investigation.” The office said that just before midnight, “unidentified persons tossed Molotov cocktails at the building located on Cerro street downtown, causing damage to several parts of the structure.”

Chihuahua has long been plagued by drug cartel violence. Many newspapers in other border cities have long tacitly refrained from covering crime stories to avoid angering local gangs, but it is rare for a Mexican newspaper to stop publishing, or publicly state it would no longer cover crime.

Also Wednesday, authorities announced that the body of a Mexican journalist who wrote for an online publication was found in southern Mexico.

Rogelio Barragán worked for the social media outlet Guerrero al Instante, which roughly translates as “Guerrero Now.” The publication covers events in the violence-plagued state of Guerrero, but Barragan’s body was found in neighboring Morelos state.

Guerrero al Instante wrote in an editorial Wednesday that “we are hurt to the quick by the murder of our colleague Rogelio.” It called for an investigation into the crime. Details of the crime were not immediately provided.

Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission said in a statement that Barragán’s body was found in the trunk of a car Tuesday.

The governmental commission said nine journalists have been killed so far this year.

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