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Veracruz police capture and beat Mexican reporter covering protests

Felipe Jiménez Madrigal. Photo via Dsm Organización Periodística's Facebook page.

Police in the Mexican city of Orizaba, Veracruz, detained and beat a journalist who was covering merchant protests on Saturday, Feb. 22, reported Animal Político.

Felipe Jiménez Madrigal, an independent reporter and contributor to the online portal Denuncie Sin Miedo (“Report Without Fear” in Spanish), was detained by police officers while covering a protest by merchants who denounced aggressions against them by municipal inspectors.

The municipal police quickly suppressed the protest and detained Jiménez Madrigal at 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, releasing him 17 hours later with injuries all over his body and a bloodied head. According to Denuncie Sin Miedo, the police beat the reporter not only while he was being captured but also during his detainment at Orizaba’s municipal jail, where he was “tortured and later abandoned, naked, in a cold cell for the whole the night.”

The portal later blamed Orizaba’s mayor Juan Manuel Díez Francos for the incident. 

The authorities said they detained Jiménez Madrigal due to his participation in the protest, Radio Formula reported. According to the radio station, police were deployed after the merchants injured a number of civil servants during the protests and arrested everyone present, including the reporter.

He was released after paying a fine of 3,000 pesos (around $287) and is being investigated by the state's attorney general after being accused of aggressions against Orizaba’s authorities.

The portal Denuncie Sin Miedo, who denounced the treatment of Jiménez Madrigal by the police, also published photographs of the reporter’s injured head, back and face on Facebook, reported news site Sin Embargo.

The incident occurred at a time of high media coverage regarding the treatment of journalists in Veracruz, where police reporter Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz was killed earlier this month.

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