31 May 2024

Beatings, insults and imprisonment, an occupational hazard for journalists

A mayoral candidate in the Mexican state of Hidalgo beat the director of the news portal Mundo Express La Montaña, Jorge Luis Pérez. According to local media, the mayor assaulted the journalist because of a publication about a lawsuit for threats filed by his ex-partner. Pérez was detained for three hours and his car, computer and cell phone were taken from him.

In Argentina, a bodyguard of the Minister of Human Capital, Sandra Pettovello, twice assaulted journalist Lautaro Maislin of the C5N television channel. The bodyguard first hit the journalist hard with a shoulder and then with a car door. "I have never in my life responded to a physical or verbal aggression. I have even had spit thrown at me while I was working. But this time I had to call him a 'moron'," said Maislin.

Dominican congressman Nelson Marmolejos insulted journalist Edward Fernández of Diario Libre after the media published an article about his reelection and the investigations against him. Marmolejos sent him messages via WhatsApp referring to Fernández as "trash", "mercenary" and "junk".

The family of Carlos Julio Rojas, a journalist detained in Venezuela, was able to visit him after 39 days in a maximum security prison. Rojas is accused of participating in an alleged plot to assassinate Maduro. His family requested urgent medical attention to control his hypertension and other symptoms.

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) rejected an article recently added to an audiovisual media bill in Uruguay that seeks to regulate content to the detriment of press freedom and freedom of expression.

Carlos Jornet, chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, stated that "leaving in the hands of the authorities the decision of what is considered 'complete, impartial, serious, rigorous, plural and balanced' information is extremely dangerous for citizens and the independent press".

IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and freedom of expression in the Americas. It is comprised of more than 1,300 public