Veracruz – Gunmen set fire over the weekend to the offices of a recently launched newspaper in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz, but no one was injured, officials and employees of the newspaper said.
The attack occurred early Sunday in Cordoba, a city located about 300 kilometers (186 miles) east of Mexico City.
The gunmen entered the El Buen Tono newspaper's offices and destroyed computers and other equipment before setting fire to the building.
About 10 heavily armed men wearing hoods burst into the facility, threw at least one grenade into the building and fired several shots, newspaper employees said.
Investigators, however, did not find any bullets or shrapnel in the building, the Veracruz Attorney General's Office said.
The newsroom was the only part of the building affected by the blaze, the AG's office said, adding that investigators found a gasoline can inside a closet.
El Buen Tono, which began publication two months ago, has been critical of state officials and reported on organized crime, kidnappings and disappearances linked to drug trafficking.
The newspaper is owned by businessman Jose Abella Garcia, a former National Action Party, or PAN, mayoral candidate in Cordoba.
"We saw them come in, they pushed us and started pouring gasoline on the place. They told us we had been warned and we had not understood," an employee told Efe on condition of anonymity.
The fire damaged the newsroom and the building's facade, preventing employees from completing Sunday's print run.
El Buen Tono started receiving threats about a week ago from organized crime groups angry about its reporting on kidnappings and shootouts, sources at the newspaper said.
"They burned the newspaper but not my desire to continue," Abella said in a posting on Twitter.
The crime wave in Veracruz is partly to blame on the fact that officials and a competing newspaper are allied with organized crime groups, Abella said.
Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte said he was committed to clearing up the incident.
Veracruz Attorney General Amadeo Flores should "speed up" the investigation of the incident, Duarte said.
The Gulf, Los Zetas and relatively new Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartels, as well as breakaway members of the once-powerful La Familia Michoacana crime syndicate, are fueling the violence in Veracruz, which is Mexico's third-most populous state and coveted as a key drug-trafficking corridor to the United States.
The violence has surged in the past two months, leaving more than 150 people dead and prompting the Calderon administration to deploy federal forces under "Operation Safe Veracruz."
The operation also seeks to clean up local police departments and strengthen intelligence efforts to bolster security across the state.
The wave of violence in Veracruz has been marked by several massacres.
The bodies of 35 people were dumped Sept. 20 on a busy road in Boca del Rio in an apparent challenge to the violent Los Zetas drug cartel.
On Oct. 6, 32 corpses were found at drug-gang "safe houses" in the Veracruz-Boca del Rio metro area, while 10 bodies were found a day later in the tourist area.
The mass dumping of bodies was the first such incident in Veracruz, indicating that the violence in the northern part of the state along the borders with Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi and Hidalgo states has now spilled over into the region, officials said.