Mexico has become one of the world's most dangerous countries to be a journalist, as warring drug cartels attack and sometimes kill crime reporters who try to cover the drug trade and the escalating violence it spawns. But a drive-by grenade attack on a TV station while the evening news was being broadcast live on Tuesday night was a first even for Mexico.
The news anchors at leading Mexican broadcaster Televisa in Monterrey, Mexico's second biggest city and industrial capital, were reading the evening news shortly before 9 p.m. on Jan. 6 when a truckload of gunmen turned up and hurled a grenade at the station and then opened fire.
According to wire service reports, the news anchors reported on the attack as it was happening and asked the police for help. No one was hurt, but one of the station's outside doors was sprayed with bullets.
The gunmen also left behind a handwritten note with some suggestions for future coverage of their industry. The note read "Stop reporting just on us. Report on the narco's political leaders." They were apparently referring to the Mexican government, which is riddled with corrupt politicians who protect the drug lords in return for payoffs. An estimated 5,700 people were killed in 2008 in drug-related violence in Mexico.