One of the most prestigious press freedom groups is calling out Mexican state police officers who allegedly threatened and assaulted multiple journalists as they covered a series of protests that turned violent.
The Committee to Protect Journalists asked this week for a transparent investigation into a series of attacks against multiple journalists in the Mexican state of Veracruz. The attacks were carried out at the hands of the Fuerza Civil police force.
The attacks on the journalists took place on February 11 in Ciudad Isla, Veracruz, where various outlets were reporting on police brutality protests outside of a federal law enforcement building. Protesters demanded answers after the alleged sexual assault of a teenager and the forced disappearance of another. When protesters tried to force their way into the compounds, police officers shot into the crowd and beat some protesters in an attempt to disperse the crowd.
During the escalating conflict, police officers beat Alberto Carmona, a reporter for El Pinero de Cuenca newspaper, CPJ, said in a prepared statement. The press freedom organization also claimed that Julia Santín and Brígido López from the website Los Llanos del Sotaviento and Edna Lopez from A Titulo Personal were subjected to various death threats including having a gun pointed to the head of one of them. Also, police officers detained Sergio Herrera, a local radio journalist and César Estrada, from El Noreste newspaper.
“The use of disproportionate and indiscriminate force by police against reporters covering protests in Veracruz is unacceptable if Mexico wants to guarantee freedom of the press,” said Jan-Albert Hootsen, CPJ’s Mexico representative in a prepared statement. “Both federal and Veracruz state authorities must ensure that reporters can do their job without fear of falling victim to violence.”
The attacks on the journalists in Veracruz come one month after Mexico recorded its first murdered journalist in 2020. Authorities found the body of Fidel Avila Gomez in Michoacán, Breitbart Texas reported. In 2019, Breitbart Texas reported on the murder of 11 journalists in Mexico, most of those crimes remain unsolved.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.