Buenos Aires, Nov 23 (EFE).- The headquarters of the Grupo Clarin, Argentina’s largest media conglomerate, was attacked Monday night by unknown persons throwing Molotov cocktails, but no injuries or worse were reported, according to a statement issued by the group on Tuesday.
“We regret and condemn this serious deed that, at first glance, appears to be a violent expression of intolerance against a communications media outlet. And we hope for its urgent clarification and punishment” for those who perpetrated it, Grupo Clarin said in the statement.
According to the daily Clarin on its Web site, at about 11:05 pm on Monday night a band of at least nine masked attackers hurled seven or eight Molotov cocktails at one of the entrances to the building, which houses the daily and Grupo Clarin, in the Barracas neighborhood of Buenos Aires,
The building was closed and locked and the bombs landed on the pavement and at the door of the entry hall, resulting in several small fires, the media outlet reported.
The fire department personnel who arrived at the scene did not have to intervene because the several fires went out by themselves.
“There were no victims or personal injuries,” said Grupo Clarin.
The media conglomerate’s communique added that the firm “made the corresponding complaint and the intervening court is analyzing videos and performing other investigative tasks.”
The investigation into the attack is in the hands of Federal Court 9 and is being overseen by Judge Luis Rodriguez, who called the incident an act of “public intimidation,” Clarin reported.
The Association of Argentine Journalistic Entities (Adepa) released a statement in which it “energetically condemns” the “incendiary attack” on the headquarters of Grupo Clarin.
Adepa said that the attack “is a violent expression of intolerance” against a group of communications media outlets and constitutes “a serious attack on the freedom of expression,” demanding the “rapid identification and punishment” of those responsible.
Meanwhile, the Forum for Argentine Journalism (Fopea) said in a communique that it “energetically repudiates … (the) violent attack.”
Fopea warned about the “seriousness of the deeds,” which come after the attack last March on the daily Rio Negro, and it demanded that the judiciary investigate and convict those responsible for the “flagrant attack on freedom of the press.”
Both political leaders with the government and the opposition expressed their repudiation of the attack.
“I want to express our repudiation of the incident that occurred in front of the headquarters of the Clarin daily. Violence always shakes up democratic coexistence,” Argentine President Alberto Fernandez tweeted.
“We hope that the deeds may be clarified and the authors can be identified within the investigation now under way,” he added.
Former President Mauricio Macri, who governed Argentina from 2015-2019, also repudiated the attack and expressed his solidarity on his Twitter account after saying that the incident was a “very serious attempt to intimidate the media outlet and the entire press” and is “an unacceptable deed that recalls the violent practices of the past.”
Macri called on “the government and the judiciary” to clarify the incident and arrest those responsible.
Argentine Security Minister Anibal Fernandez also repudiated the attack on his Twitter account, saying “I am confident that the authors will be identified and punished.”
Grupo Clarin, which was involved in a public dispute during the 2007-2015 presidency of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who now serves as Alberto Fernandez’s vice president, was founded in Argentina and is majority owned and managed within Argentina. It has a presence in print media, radio and television.