Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mexican Reporters Say Soldiers Attacked Them

Friday, July 16, 2010 |


Three Mexican reporters say they were attacked and beaten by soldiers when they tried to cover a police operation in a neighborhood in the border city of Nuevo Laredo.

Reporter Abisai Rubio and cameraman Ricardo Ramirez, both of Television Azteca, and Antonio Neftali Gomez, who works for Radio Voz de Nuevo Laredo, were attacked on Tuesday.

Neftali said he was knocked down by a soldier and beaten on the ground.

“I went up to them when I saw they were beating up the two colleagues, but then a soldier started kicking me until he knocked me down on the highway,” Neftali said.

The soldiers damaged a video camera that belongs to TV Azteca, the reporters said.

“An attack like this on freedom of expression should not be allowed to happen. We went there because of a report from residents about shots being fired in the area,” Rubio said.

“They twisted the fingers on one of my hands, beat me and even though we tried to speak with an officer, nobody paid attention and they assaulted us until they got tired,” Rubio said.

The incident occurred in the Valles de Anahuac section of Nuevo Laredo, a city in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas across the border from Laredo, Texas.

The journalists said the soldiers continued to attack them even though they showed their press credentials.

The journalists said they planned to file a complaint with federal officials and the independent National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH.

Three suspected gunmen died in a shootout with the security forces in Nuevo Laredo, the Defense Secretariat said in a statement released Wednesday.

The secretariat said it “condemned the conduct of the military personnel against the journalists, who were covering an armed attack targeting army personnel in Nuevo Laredo.”

“This incident will be investigated with the goal of determining the role of the personnel that participated and enforcing the law and military regulations,” the secretariat said.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.

Nearly 70 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000, while 11 others have gone missing since 2003, figures compiled by Reporters Without Borders show.

Over the weekend, journalists Marco Aurelio Martinez Tijerina and Guillermo Alcaraz Trejo were killed in separate incidents in the northern states of Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon.

“Their murders bring the number of journalists killed in Mexico since the start of the year to 10 or possibly 11,” the Paris-based group, known as RSF, said in a statement released Monday.

The slayings of Martinez and Alcaraz followed the murder on July 6 of a newspaper editor in the western state of Michoacan.

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11 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

the soldiers tell the reporters to stay away from his own security, they don´t respect the order and the soldiers take them away... they dont even hit them (and they deserve it) by the way the reporters dont even tell the truth or cover the full notice. they only try to identify the soldiers to tell the narcos where are them or who are them. ...remember the case of the family of Melquisedec Angulo a soldier who fight against Artutro Beltran (and died at the battle), the narcos kill all his family (because the reporters identify him telli´n his name in tv) in revenge of the "jefe de jefes"

The soldiers do his job, the reporters left too much to expect.

Anonymous said...

very true!! ^^^

Anonymous said...

leave the soldiers alone to do their job when they warn you away listen

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly it was Felipe Calderon who identified the slain soldier, not a journalist.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the soildiers for nothing, there telling the people to move which they don't! Then that reporter trying to be a bad ass being and asshole with the soildiers! The soildiers already have enough to handle with all the violence around them and to be worrying about stupid reporters being in the way!!!

Steve said...

These reporters are boneheads... and the arrogance of the press is predictable. No wonder lots of these guys get killed, if this is representative of their actions.

Anonymous said...

the reporters have no business during incursions or operations of the military. they only report the actions of the military and refuse to report the kidnappings and murders committed by the drug cartels

Anonymous said...

once in Monterrey i thought two reporters were going to attack me because i had gotten a parking place before two of them in front of the 7, one night in the tec de Monterrey they were threatening me in front of my girlfriend, i lost sympathy for them at that point

Anonymous said...

I can't believe all these commenters here who act like the Mexican military are some sort of saintly squadron of do-gooders? What's with you naive people? The Mexican military allowed the cartels to occupy whole towns for days on end, and lest we forget, the Mexican military is where the cartels often times have recruited their people from.

The Mexican military is a repressive force that has been guilty of multiple human rights violations and outright murders throughout its history. There's a real need to keep the videos pointed in their direction. These reporters here were doing the job that the lots more cowardly US reporters haven't been doing in their war reporting involving the aggressions of US troops. Good for them! They should have our support.

Ernest1

Anonymous said...

comment from Ernest1
I dont know where you live or what job did you do to say all that stupid words, if you live in Mexico, probably you are a politic, reporter a criminal or just a blind person who doesnt see the reality.
Yes much of the criminals where soldiers before, but they dont allow the cartels to occupy any town, the one´s who did it where the goverment of each state. who fights against the narcos?? the local police and the state police dont do it (they cooperate with them), the one´s who fights them are federal police and military forces.
Every militia, police of all the country´s got cases of humans right´s violations.
Probably the reporters were doin his job but they entering to a restricted zone where the soldiers was doin his own job and were distubing them.
the fact that you have a camera dont give you any special powers, immunity or knowledge, or anything else, just respect the space of the other people ....or hide at your own risk to take a shoot!

Anonymous said...

First of all @ 10:50:
¿Sabes que compñero? Mejor comenta en español, ¿no? Aver si asi se te entiende mejor. Creo que lo sabemos mejor que lo que tu sabes el ingles. Porfas. ¿Si?

@ Ernest:
This is an open blog, man. Alot of the comments have to be carefully read. If you've hung out a little, you'd notice a particular "voice" coming from some of these posters every time a story negative to the military appears (I remember a particular one posted by Iliana, about a family AMBUSHED by the military on their way from Laredo to Playa Bagdad in Matamoros.) ¿Coincidence? Creo que no... Ya kno what I mean? ;-)

We now know how that shootout between an "armed band of sicarios" turned out to be a criminal cover-up by the military. The outrage was justified, after all.

But that's o.k. everyone can have a voice on the BB. Even the officers and personnel in the Mexican military that need to cover their asses.

Of course; reader beware.

As to the intimidation of reporters and the media: Cada vez que un soldado se impone frente a las camaras para prevenir que se difundan los hechos, previenen que Mexico sepa la verdad; ese soldado contribuye a proteger al inpune; igual como si protegiera a un capo de un cartel, ecepto que estos capos son sus oficiales.

¿Porque le temes a la verdad soldado compañero? ¿No le favorece? Quien es usted para decirle al publico que no tiene derecho a saber lo que occurre y lo que se hace en nombre del pueblo? Nosotros te pagamos, nosotros te damos de comer, nosotros le damos autoridad a los oficiales al frente de ti! ¿Tu quien chingados te crees, pendejo? ERES MI GATO, Y NO EL DE TUS JEFES.


A.R.
Por la Revolucion Verde en
Matamoros.

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