MEXICO: Reporter threatened and robbed in central Michoacán

October 26, 2007
Posted November 2, 2007

Ricardo Zarco, Cadena 3
Zarco, a 36-year-old freelance cameraman and producer for the Mexico City-based television network Cadena 3, was threatened and robbed while on his way home from work in Morelia, the capital of the central state of Michoacán.

At 11:30 p.m., Zarco was approached by an unidentified man in plain clothes at a green light in downtown Morelia. The man came to Zarco’s rolled-down driver’s side window, held an ice pick to the journalist’s neck and said he was going to “mess him up.” The assailant then got into the car, took out a pistol and ordered Zarco to drive through Morelia for several hours. During that time, the man said he planned to kill Zarco.

At approximately 4:30 a.m., Zarco was ordered to stop in front of a house in Morelia’s Tierra y Libertad neighborhood. The assailant pointed to a house with a police van in front. “That’s where my boss lives,” said the main. “He’s the head of the police homicide unit. So don’t try anything stupid.” The man then took Zarco’s camera, got out of the car and walked down the street and out of Zarco’s sight.

Zarco went home and immediately called the police and his editor. He accompanied the police on a tour through the Tierra y Libertad neighborhood but did not spot his assailant.

The camera contained footage of interviews with Jesús Reyna, candidate for governor of Michoacán for the Institutional Revolutionary Party, and with the press chief for the National Action Party. Michoacán state elections were scheduled for November 11. Earlier that week, Zarco reported on corruption charges against associates of Leonel Godoy, gubernatorial candidate of the Party of the Democratic Revolution.