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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Journalists concerned about increasing police attacks on press in Mexican border city




The Juarez Journalists Network reported three city police attacks on reporters in one week in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The latest came the evening of Friday, Feb. 3, when police officers arrested and beat a reporter for El Diario in the newspaper's parking lot, according to Clases de Periodismo and Objetivo Radio.

Journalist Joel González filed a complaint with the attorney general for abuse by authorities after the journalist was attacked and locked up in jail when he tried to report on the arbitrary arrest of a citizen in front of the newspaper's offices, according to El Diario de Juárez.

The same newspaper reported that on Jan. 31, city police physically attacked and threatened reporters trying to photograph and film a police search of a home where three people were arrested and drugs and arms were seized. Also, on Jan. 30, police pointed their rifles at two journalists from the newspaper Norte, forcing them to erase photographs they had taken of undercover vehicles. In both cases, the police wore ski masks and the identification numbers of their vehicles were hidden, supposedly to protect officers from threats by organized crime, according to El Diario.

After the incidents of police aggression, the Association of Journalists of Ciudad Juarez said that the lack of internal control of city police had resulted in the lack of minimum guarantees for journalists trying to do their jobs, and the group demanded the governor to intervene to protect the free exercise of journalism in the border city, reported the newspaper La Opción de Chihuahua.

Reporters in Ciudad de Juarez also suffered two other police attacks in January and last November.

Below, see a security camera video from El Diario that shows the most recent police attack on reporters the night of Feb. 3.



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