Posted September 28, 2007
Manolo Acosta, Zócalo
Jesús Meza González, La Voz de Coahuila
Alberto Rodríguez Reyes, Canal 4
Sinhé Samaniego Osoria, Zócalo
A federal judge in the northern city of Monclova exonerated crime reporters Acosta, Meza, Rodríguez, and Samaniego, who had been charged on August 8 with possession of a firearm and drug-related crimes, reported the Mexican press. According to the Monclova-based daily Zócalo, the judge dropped the charges against the reporters, stating there was no evidence to prosecute them.
The national daily El Universal reported that the Nacional Commission on Human Rights, which took up the reporters’ case in mid-August, will continue to investigate the soldiers who detained and allegedly beat the journalists before handing them over to civilian authorities.
The four crime reporters were detained by Mexican soldiers while covering a routine military convoy in Monclova in the border state of Coahuila. During an interview with CPJ on August 14, Samaniego said they had been beaten and aggressively questioned by soldiers before being turned over to the attorney general’s office in Coahuila. The journalists were charged with possession of a firearm and drug-related crimes a day after their arrest.