Mexican newspaper ‘Norte’ closes, citing fears for safety of its journalists

Decision, announced on front page, comes after murder of reporter Miroslav Breach in March

The front page of the last print edition of 'Norte de Ciudad Juárez.'
The front page of the last print edition of 'Norte de Ciudad Juárez.'
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The murder in March of one of its reporters, Miroslava Breach, was one of the main factors in the decision, along with “the impunity against journalists [...] preventing us from freely continuing with our work,” the paper explained in a front-page statement headlined “Adiós.”

“Dear reader, I am writing to you to say that we have taken the decision to close this daily because, among other reasons, there are no guarantees or security for us to be able to carry out critical journalism,” reads the statement, which was signed by the paper’s owner, Oscar A. Cantú Murguía.

“Everything in life has a beginning and an end and a price to pay. And if this is life, I am not prepared to pay for it with another one of my contributors, nor with my own life,” adds the editor of the paper.

The paper also blames local, regional and federal governments for failing to pay for “services delivered”

The statement says that it has been left “alone” to expose corruption and bad government. “In these 27 years, with a few honorable exceptions, we have battled against the tide, being battered and punished by individuals and governments for having exposed their bad practices and corruption, which only acted to the detriment of our city and those of us who live here,” reads the editorial.

The paper also cites economic reasons for the closure, blaming local, regional and federal governments for failing to pay for “services delivered.”

In 2010, the paper’s rival, Diario de Juárez, called for a “truce” between the drug cartels fighting for control of the border city and that had seen the murder of two reporters in as many years.

The murder of Miroslava Breach came four days after an attempt on the life of Veracruz-based journalist Ricardo Monlui, and the murder of Cecilio Pineda on March 2. Thirty journalists have been murdered in Mexico since President Enrique Peña Nieto took office in December 2012, according to freedom of expression NGO Article 19. Other human rights groups say that a total of 123 reporters have been murdered since 2000.

English version by Nick Lyne.

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