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.