Local official hits journalist with car

March 14, 2017 10:36 AM ET

An employee with the economic council of the municipal government of the central Mexican city of Guanajuato, on March 7, 2017, swerved his car to hit Gilberto Israel Navarro Basaldúa, a journalist for the newspaper Am Express, the journalist alleged.

Navarro, who was driving a motorcycle, was returning home from reporting on an accident when the official's car slowed down and swerved to the right just as the reporter was passing, Am Express and El Universal newspapers reported. Navarro skidded off his motorcycle, and was treated for scrapes and cuts in a nearby clinic.

Navarro told CPJ that on March 1 he had written an article about a dispute between the official and a local merchant.

"A public servant ran over me with his vehicle because of an article I wrote," Navarro told CPJ.

The journalist told CPJ that he submitted a criminal complaint after the incident and that the attorney general's office of the state had provided him with protection. The State Prosecutor's Office for Human Rights in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato opened an investigation into the incident, the national daily newspaper El Universal reported.

Navarro praised authorities' response, but said he would feel safer once the official had been prosecuted.

The man Navarro accused was dismissed from his local government job after the investigation began, according to media reports. He did not reply to CPJ's request for comment.

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