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How CPJ investigates and classifies attacks on the press

AUGUST 31, 2004
Posted: September 9, 2004

Mario Morales, William Meoño, and Marvin Guillén, Nuestro Diario
Edward Morales, Guatevisión
Fredy Rodas, Prensa Libre
Mynor Toj and Luis Romero, Cable DX
Gerardo Montenegro, freelance

Guatemalan police attacked and threatened at least eight journalists reporting on the eviction of hundreds of peasants who had occupied the Nueva Linda ranch in the southern department of Retalhuleu, according to local news reports. The police operation ended with several deaths and scores of injuries among the peasants.

The attacks against the journalists came after they had witnessed police killing several peasants, news reports said. The police confiscated cameras and video equipment. When several journalists tried to recover their equipment, police threatened them, fired shots into the air, and launched tear gas grenades at them, news reports said.

Edward Morales and Rojas told CPJ that all of the journalists were carrying press credentials and press jackets. Journalists could not immediately recover their equipment, including tapes on which they recorded the killings.