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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Police chief suspended after journalists are attacked while reporting in Mexico City



A photojournalist from newspaper Reforma, Alejandro Mendoza, and Azteca News reporter Isidro Corro said they were assaulted by agents of the Ministry of Public Security (SSP) during the early morning hours of July 8 while covering a police operation in Colonia Doctores, in Mexico City, according to El Universal.

Mendoza also reported that after the assault, the police took his photographic equipment and his daughter's cell phone, Animal Político published.

The director of internal affairs of the capital SSP, Agustín González Guerrero, said during a press conference that Gerardo Cortés Torres, police chief of the Asturias sector where the attack occurred, was suspended in the wake of the incident. According to La Jornada, another 30 agents of the SSP are being investigated for crimes of abuse of authority and aggression against journalists Mendoza and Corro.

According to the newspaper Reforma, the sanctions can range from the temporary suspension to the permanent dismissal of the police officers who participated in the operation.

The Human Rights Commission of Mexico City condemned the attacks on the journalists and reported that it issued precautionary measures starting at dawn on Sunday, July 8, when the events occurred, El Universal reported. The entity also reported that it is in contact with both press professionals.

The head of government of Mexico City, José Ramón Amieva, said via Twitter that his management "will not tolerate any abuse of authority by the elements of the SSP of Mexico City."

Amieva said he visited the Reforma photojournalist in the hospital to check on his health, and said he will continue checking in with those affected and their families during the process, El Universal reported. "The events will not go unpunished," he said.

"Mexico City presumes to be a vanguard city, where the rights of human rights defenders, journalists, are respected," Mendoza told a reporter from El Universal after being attacked. "There is a defense mechanism for us that I hope will work," he said.



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