Journalist detained while covering meeting of chamber of commerce

MAY 13, 2006
Posted: June 1, 2006

Víctor Lara Martínez, ¡Por Esto!


Lara, a reporter for the Mérida-based daily Por Esto!, was detained at 6 p.m. on May 13 while covering a meeting at the local chamber of commerce. He was held for 17 hours at a local police station after being accused of breaking a window.

According to Miguel Menéndez, director of Por Esto!, the local police chief said that Lara was arrested for breaking a window outside the chamber of commerce. Menéndez told CPJ that he believed the arrest was in reprisal for the paper’s critical reporting on government corruption. The building’s owner said that the glass had been broken earlier, Menéndez, added.

Lara was not carrying press credentials at the time of his arrest, though a colleague was able to hand them to the police before the reporter was taken into custody. According to Menéndez, while Lara was in detention a policeman told him that the arrest would teach him to be careful with his pen. Lara was released without charge.