So many journalists are being killed in Mexico that one newspaper decides to shut down

A Mexican newspaper is shutting down because the country has become too dangerous for journalists, according to its owner.

In an editorial published Sunday on the front page of the Norte newspaper in the border city of Juarez, owner Oscar Cantu Murguia said a string of deadly assaults on journalists is “preventing us from continuing freely with our work.”

“Dear reader, I am writing to inform you that I have taken the decision to close because, among other things, there are no guarantees nor the security to exercise critical, counterweight journalism,” he wrote.

The newspaper had apparently been suffering financially, but Cantu said it was the March 23 killing of Miroslava Breach, one of at least five Mexican journalists targeted by violence last month, that prompted him to close it.

Breach, who covered drug cartels and corruption stories for Norte, along with the much bigger La Jornada newspaper, was gunned down outside her home in the city of Chihuahua. A sign left at the crime scene said “tattletale.”

On March 19, columnist Ricardo Monlui, who worked for El Sol de Cordoba, was shot twice as he left a restaurant with his wife and son in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz. On March 2, Cecilio Pineda Birto, a freelancer and the founder of La Voz de Tierra Caliente, was shot and killed at a car wash in Guerrero state.

Two other journalists were wounded last month in attacks believed to have been carried out in retaliation for their work.

Those incidents are a part of a recent rise of killings and other crime across Mexico. Chihuahua, the state where Breach was killed, has been especially hard hit. The 121 homicides there in January were nearly twice what the state saw the previous January.

In his final note to readers, Cantu complained about a culture of impunity in Mexico. There have been no arrests in the killing of Breach.

Cantu titled his article “Adios.”

kate.linthicum@latimes.com

Twitter: @katelinthicum

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