October 3, 2013 - Updated on January 20, 2016

More than fifteen journalists assaulted during Mexico City marches

Reporters Without Borders condemns the assault of more than fifteen journalists by demonstrators and police in Mexico City yesterday while they were covering parades marking the 45th anniversary of a student massacre in 1968. The figure is conservative. “Reporters Without Borders calls on the Special Attorney’s office for Crimes against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) to open independent investigations to get to the bottom of these assaults and punish those responsible,” the press freedom organization said. “We have previously noted that that abuses directed at journalists covering demonstrations will continue unless they are punished. The trivialization of violence against journalists undermines media coverage of events of this nature. We point out that, without journalists, the demonstrators’ message would not be heard by the public.” Guillermo Barros of the French news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) told Reporters Without Borders: “I was covering the parade when the police started hitting the demonstrators to disperse them. Even though I identified myself as a journalist, a police officer struck me on the head with his baton.” Four AFP journalists were attacked were assaulted by the police, including Barros, Yuri Cortez and Alfredo Estrellas. The police also seized the equipment of the Nayeli Roldán, a journalist for Efekto Noticias, as she was filming the arrests of demonstrators. The photographer Omar Franco Pérez, of the Mexican newspaper El Sol de México, was struck on the head. Despite having identified themselves as members of the press, photographers Nicolás Tavira of the Notimex agency, Xilonel Perez and Heriberto Paredes, of the Subversiones agency, and freelance photographers Arturo Ramos, Consuelo Pagaza and Iván Castaniera, as well as a photographer from the OOCHEL agency, were injured by the police. Freelance reporters Daniela Paniagua and Alejandro Medina (pictured) were arbitrarily detained by the police, but were released after a few minutes. According to our sources, at least eight more journalists have been attacked, including three foreign journalists, as well as correspondents from the daily Milienio and Canal 11 television station. These attacks on media workers took place shortly after reporters were subjected to violence and arbitrary arrests during a police crackdown on protests by teachers in Mexico City on 1 and 14 September. Mexico is among the most dangerous countries for those working in the media. In a decade 88 journalists have been killed and 17 others have disappeared. In most cases, crimes against journalists remain unsolved and unpunished. Photo :
Slideshow : Juan Pablo Zamora