FEBRUARY 7, 2006
Mario Vallejo, Univisión Channel 23
Osvaldo Duarte, Univisión Channel
Alberto Tavares, Telemundo Channel 51
Lázaro Abreu, Telemundo Channel 51
A guard at an immigration jail in Nassau attacked Vallejo, and police detained Abreu, Duarte, and Tavares as the four Miami-based journalists were covering the story of seven Cubans rescued from an uninhabited Bahamian island by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Cuban refugees were found in the tiny Elbow Cay after surviving a journey that killed six others. They were being held at the Carmichael Detention Center in Nassau.
Abreu was detained by guards after filming outside the detention center, according to press reports and CPJ interviews. When Vallejo called his station in Miami to report the arrest, a guard grabbed Vallejo and slammed him against a parked car. Vallejo said he received seven stitches above his eyebrow.
Police were summoned, and they detained Duarte, Telemundo, and Abreu for several hours before the journalists were freed and allowed to return to Miami. The Bahamian consulate in Miami said the government was investigating. According to press reports, detainees at this immigration detention center in Bahamas have claimed abuses by prison authorities.