MEXICO: Police assault journalist without provocation

APRIL 30, 2007
Posted May 16, 2007

Jaime Almada Guirado, Nuevo Sonora

Almada, a reporter with the Hermosillo weekly Nuevo Sonora, was beaten and harassed by two municipal police officers, according to the journalist and news reports.

Almada was driving home from work at 8:30 p.m. when he was stopped by two police officers, local press reports said. The officers asked why Almada’s Ford SUV did not have license plates. Almada said he had a municipal permit to drive without plates, the journalist told CPJ.

Without providing an explanation, the officers said that the permit was invalid and that Almada would be detained, the reporter told CPJ. Almada, who had identified himself as a journalist, said he then took out his tape recorder. The officers seized the tape recorder, punched the reporter, and struck him in the head with a rifle, the journalist said.

Almada was later taken to the police station where he was held for five hours. While in detention, the journalist received medical attention for bruises and neck injuries, local press reports said.

According to press reports, police alleged that Almada had assaulted and disrespected them. Almada denied the allegations, and police did not file formal charges. The reporter filed his own complaint with the state attorney general’s office.