Car bomb explodes outside Mexico TV studio

Car bomb explodes outside Mexico TV studio
# 27 August 2010 20:10 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. A car bomb exploded in northern Mexico outside a studio of top broadcaster Televisa early on Friday, days after marines found 72 bodies killed by drug gangs in the country’s escalating cartel war, APA reports quoting “Reuters”.
There were no deaths or injuries from the blast, which was the second car bomb this month in the city of Ciudad Victoria near the Gulf of Mexico, and the third in Mexico in just over a month. No one was killed in the other bombs.
The bomb, apparently part of a growing campaign of intimidation against the media, almost destroyed the vehicle, leaving little more than the engine and front chassis.
The vehicle carrying the explosives was parked outside the TV studio in the city, the capital of Tamaulipas state, in a mainly residential area about 220 miles south of the Texas border. Televisa’s main morning news anchorman said nearby buildings were damaged, causing a power outage.
Federal police armed with assault rifles and wearing body armor cordoned off the area.
"A car bomb exploded near the studios of Televisa Ciudad Victoria, Tamps. No colleague injured," Televisa’s anchor Carlos Loret de Mola said on Twitter. Televisa did not give more details of the blast.
No group was immediately blamed for the explosion but in July drug cartels set off a car bomb in Mexico’s most violent city, Ciudad Juarez, the first of its kind, and another in early August in Ciudad Victoria.
It was not clear what sort of explosives were used in the latest blast or how the bomb was detonated.
The explosion was at least the fourth apparent attack on Televisa studios across northern Mexico since last year, when drug hitmen threw a grenade at the broadcaster’s studios in Mexico’s business capital Monterrey. Grenades were again thrown at Televisa in Monterrey and in Matamoros across from Brownsville, Texas, earlier this month, police said.
No one was hurt in the attacks, which appear to be designed only to shock and intimidate reporters who cover the drug war.
Since 2006, at least 30 journalists have been killed in Mexico, according to Mexican media. Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the media, the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists says.
Tamaulipas state has become one of Mexico’s bloodiest drug flashpoints since the start of the year as rival hitmen from the Gulf cartel and its former armed wing, the Zetas, fight over smuggling routes into the United States. Hitmen killed a popular candidate for elections in the state in June, Mexico’s worst political killing in 16 years.
The car bomb comes after the bodies of 72 people were found on Tuesday in a building at a remote ranch. It was the worst massacre since President Felipe Calderon sent 45,000 troops and thousands of federal police to fight drug gangs in late 2006.
The victims, Central and South American migrant workers, appeared to have been blindfolded and bound before they were lined up against a wall and gunned down.
A police chief and a senior investigative police officer who were part of the investigation of the slayings were abducted Thursday, Tamaulipas prosecutor Jaime Rodriguez said. The body of the investigative policeman was dumped on a rural road on Friday, El Universal daily said on its website.
Calderon, who has staked his presidency on beating back the drug gangs, warned this week there likely will be more bloodshed as his government continues its campaign to defeat violent drug cartels.
More than 28,000 people in Mexico have died in drug violence since Calderon launched his drug fight when he took office in late 2006, worrying investors and Washington, which condemned the migrant killings and offered its support.