Posted August 24, 2007
Manolo Acosta, Zócalo
Jesús Meza González, La Voz de Coahuila
Alberto Rodríguez Reyes, Canal 4
Sinhé Samaniego Osoria, Zócalo
The Nacional Commission on Human Rights took up the case of Mexican crime reporters Acosta, Meza, Rodríguez, and Samaniego, who were detained and abused by Mexican soldiers on August 7, the director general of the commission’s Program for Journalists and Human Rights Defenders, Luis Raúl González Pérez told CPJ.
Commission staff met with the journalists’ families, their lawyers, and representatives from their media outlets in Monclova, a city in the northern Coahuila state, González wrote in an e-mail to CPJ. The staff also met with local authorities and was present during the reporters’ arraignment on August 10, said González.
The four reporters were detained by Mexican soldiers while covering a routine military convoy in Monclova. During an interview with CPJ on August 14, Samaniego said they were beaten and aggressively questioned by soldiers before being turned over to the attorney general’s office in Coahuila.
The journalists are being charged with possession of a firearm and drug-related crimes. However, Samaniego told CPJ that the drugs or weapons soldiers allegedly found did not belong to them. He said there is no forensic evidence that the weapons and drugs were ever in their possession.