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US: Mexican Drug Traffickers Threaten Foreign Journalists


A Texas newspaper has pulled a reporter out of the border city of Laredo following reports that Mexican drug traffickers are planning to kill foreign journalists along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The San Antonio Express-News said Friday it did not know if the threat is true, but that it will err on the side of caution.

Laredo is across the border from the crime-ridden Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo, which has seen numerous killings and shootouts between drug smuggling gangs. Journalists covering the drug-related violence are constantly threatened and attacked.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza said in a statement Friday that U.S and Mexican authorities will do everything possible to ensure the safety of American reporters working on both sides of the border.

Garza said threats against journalists must be condemned by all who understand the importance of a free press in a democratic society.

Separately, Reporters Without Borders urged Mexico's government to stop the violations of press freedom it says are coming from local politicians and criminal gangs.

The press freedom group said recent threats and advertising boycotts against journalists and media have taken place in the states of Puebla, Guanajuato and Yucatan.

The rights group said the violations are typical of the kind of pressure to which Mexican media are constantly subjected.

Reporters Without Borders said it considers Mexico one of the world's most dangerous places for the press, with two journalists killed and two missing since January.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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