US Ambassador Tony Garza condemned threats against US reporters amid intelligence reports that drug traffickers were planning to kill foreign journalists along the US-Mexico border.
In a statement on Friday, Garza condemned threats against journalists as "an attempt to intimidate them from reporting the truth."
A US Embassy official said on condition of anonymity that US law enforcement officials have reliable information that drug traffickers are planning to target foreign journalists.
While past attacks have targeted local reporters, the threat against foreign journalists indicated that drug traffickers are becoming bolder in their attempts to silence news reports on their activities.
"We will work with authorities in the US and Mexico to do everything possible to ensure the safety of American reporters working along both sides of our common border," Garza said.
The embassy official said the threats appeared concentrated around the violent city of Nuevo Laredo, where a new police chief was gunned down two years ago hours after taking office, and hundreds of people have been killed in drug violence since.
Erik Vasys, spokesman for the FBI in San Antonio, Texas, said that "at this time, we are not aware of a specific threat to harm or injure any specific person or media entity."
"The FBI will use all of its resources to protect the free press from violence and intimidation," Vasys said.
The San Antonio Express-News pulled its correspondent, Mariano Castillo, out of Laredo, Texas, across the border from Nuevo Laredo, late on Thursday in light of the threats.
In a story posted on the newspaper's Web site on Friday, editor Robert Rivard said the paper was told by an official that a drug cartel was seeking to put out a hit on an American reporter in Laredo.
"We don't know that the report is credible and we hope it isn't," he said. "But until we feel comfortable knowing that, we're going to err on the side of caution."
Eloy Aguilar, president of the Foreign Correspondents Association in Mexico, sent out an e-mail advising foreign correspondents to "be extremely careful and security conscious."
Aguilar, who retired last year as Associated Press bureau chief in Mexico City, said the warning was "based on journalists who have been there and were told by sources on both sides of the border that there was a threat that was considered serious enough to be taken into account."
A television crew for the TV Azteca network disappeared in Monterrey in May, and an Acapulco correspondent was gunned down in April.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big