Newspaper directors attacked

APRIL 11, 2006
Francisco Rivera, Noticia de Michoacán


APRIL 20, 2006
Rafael Rivera Millán, Gente del Balsa


Rivera and Rivera Millán, directors of the local dailies, were attacked nine days apart by members of the Sicartsa Miners and Steelworkers Union while covering protests in the western city of Lázaro Cárdenas.

Rivera was interviewing Sicartsa management and union representatives on the morning of April 11 when a group of protesters accused him of biased reporting, pulled him away, and beat him. The journalist received minor bruises on his face and upper body.

On April 20, a small group of protesters grabbed Rivera Millán while he was photographing a different demonstration. The assailants beat him and smashed his camera against the floor. Rivera Millán told CPJ that he received slight injuries.

Following the attacks, Noticia de Michoacán and Gente del Balsa delivery people have been threatened with violence on multiple occasions by individuals who have identified themselves as union members. The aggressors said they will beat up both journalists if they do not stop reporting on the strikes from a one-sided perspective, and have threatened to burn down Rivera Millán’s house.

The journalists said they have reported the attacks and threats to the Michoacán State Prosecutor’s Office. Rivera Millán told CPJ that he has received local police protection since the attack.