Saturday, January 13, 2018

Photo Journalist Attacked by State Police in Guerrero

Posted by Yaqui from: CPJ

               Bernadino Hernandez , Mexican Photo Journalist attacked by police in Guerrero State
                He was covering the events Posted here on Borderland Beat by  Otis:

Mexico City, January 10, 2018-------Authorities in Mexico's Guerrero state should thoroughly and credibly investigate alleged police violence against a reporter in the town of La Concepción, in the Municipality of Acapulco, on January 7, the Committee to Protect Journalists ( CPJ ) said today.

According to statements that five reporters gave to local media after the alleged violence, state policemen attacked a journalist covering the violent clashes between police and soldiers and members of a self-styled community police force.

Photographer Bernandino Hernández, who contributes to The Associated Press and the Mexican photo agency Cuartoscuro, told CPJ on January 8 that state police beat him up after he took photos of government officers beating several members of the community police force including some who were unarmed.

The photographer said that, though he identified himself as a journalist, the policemen shouted that they didn't care who he works for and that they "would make him disappear" if he continued to take pictures.

"It is the job of the police to protect journalists, but we've seen too many cases in Mexico where police are the culprits in violence against journalists," said Alexandra Ellerbeck, CPJ's North America Program Coordinator, from New York. "Authorities should investigate this attack and prosecute any officers responsible."

Roberto Álvarez Heredia, a spokesperson for the Guerrero Coordination Group, which oversees all local and federal law enforcement in the state, told CPJ today that state authorities are investigating the attack.

"The government of Guerrero regrets what happened and it is our commitment to properly investigate the matter to prevent it from happening again," Álvarez Heredia said, adding that he was as of yet unable to provide further details about the police officers allegedly involved.

CPJ was unable to reach the National Defense Secretariat in Mexico City or the Community Police in La Concepción for comment.

Reporters were documenting ongoing attempts from government authorities to disarm the community's self-styled police force and arrest an outspoken local community leader, according to the journalists with whom CPJ spoke and news reports. The community police refused to hand over their weapons, prompting a shootout at approximately 11:30 a.m. on January 7, according to news reports. At least three community police died in the crossfire, the reports said.

During the course of the shootout, state police began attacking journalists, three reporters who were present at the scene told CPJ.

Hernández told CPJ that he was hospitalized after police beat him with their hands and kicked him. The photojournalist said that policemen damaged his cameras, took his memory cards containing photos of alleged acts of abuse they committed during the protests, and stole his money.

Hernández said he lost consciousness for several minutes during the attack. The photojournalist's colleagues dragged him away from the scene and evacuated him by car to the Guerrero state capital of Chilpancingo, where he reported the attack to the state authorities. He was then brought to a hospital in Acapulco to be treated for his injuries, he said.

He told CPJ that he suffered a concussion and bruises on his legs, torso and head, but no brain damage. On January 9, while conversing with CPJ, he had trouble fully recollecting all details of the incident.

The state health secretary, Carlos de la Peña Pintos, told CPJ on January 9 that the Guerrero state authorities will pay for Hernández's medical expenses.

Francisco Robles, who contributes to the Mexico City-based newspaper Reforma and Agence France-Presse, told CPJ in a telephone interview on January 9 that he saw Hernández being dragged away from the place where he had been attacked, although he had not seen the attack itself.

Another reporter who was present at the shootout, Sergio Robles of news website Quadratín, told CPJ on January 9 that he and other reporters present also suffered some degree of verbal and minor physical abuse, including being pushed by officers.

Sergio Robles, Francisco Robles, and Hernández told CPJ that they recognized some of the state police from past assignments. Hernández said that he fears for his safety because he also recognized some of the state police from past reporting assignments. A federal police officer was posted to guard the hospital room where Hernández was receiving treatment, the journalist said.

Patricia Colchero, the head of the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, confirmed to CPJ on January 9 that Mexican authorities assigned federal police to temporarily guard Hernández's home. Another spokesperson for the group whose name CPJ withheld for safety reasons said that they plan to speak with Hernández as soon as possible, although that meeting had not taken place.

Ricardo Sánchez Pérez del Pozo, the federal Special Prosecutor for Attention to Crimes committed Against Freedom of Expression, told CPJ on January 9 that his institution was aware of the incident, but that Hernández had not been in communication with federal authorities.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the Western Hemisphere for journalists. According to CPJ research, at least six journalists were murdered in retaliation for their work in 2017. CPJ is investigating another three murders to determine the motive.

Note: The actual number of murdered is higher than six for 2017 and there were countless numbers of  death threats and inumerable attacks and attempted murders.


  1. Why bother the Autodefensas, they should be spending thier power, on the criminal Cartels killing people like animals.

    1. 11:52 the criminals and the polesias are one and the same against the people, for the money, some money, some money somewhere, the land, everything.

  2. I don't know much about Mexican laws and procedures . In the usa these kinds of abuses by any government actor can be a federal crime and a constitutional violation . It seems to me a cop being arrested in the situations that exist in mexico should be shipped to another part of the country where he and his cronies don't have so much sway .
    In my opinion mexico will get much better or much worse . The squeaky wheel gets the grease or it keeps getting worse falls off .

    1. 11:57 0n the US like in Mexico or Canada, or all over LatinAmerica and the world, the poor and the aboriginals are the last concern of the greedy and the moneyed looking for business

  3. Self defense forces will never make it so sad

  4. sad long ongoing situation in the ejidos.
    the last census has The population of the communal property of cacahuatepec at 35K here have been countless murders and disappearances of the people. I hope this story is reported accurately because publicity in a global fashion could help the situation.

    thanks for posting this story Yaqui

  5. This will be long...
    To me from a reader>>> this is the fight. Government wanting to take away property given to indigenous people after being taken away from them, it was a constitution amendment. This is why it was so upsetting to see reports in msm implying this last attack was between narcos and civilians. The story is much bigger than that. And hundreds have died because they will not give up their land.

    See from reader: [and thank you for being proactive in researching the fight]

    “Because the dam is slated to be built on communally owned indigenous land (ejidos and bienes comunales), the government must convince local communities to invoke a clause (added to the Mexican Constitution as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA) approving the government’s expropriation of their land. Previously, the government secured this approval through fraudulent “popular assemblies” that were eventually tossed out by federal courts.”

    And some info from the website of the indigenous farmers who say this case is like ayotzinapa case from the iguala massacre and years before, which is what I thought of when first learning about this :

    "communal property" is traditional communal land, restored after the Mexican revolution to its original owners - peasant and indigenous communities - based on customary use.

    Communal lands comprise a territory that may belong to one or more communities and originally control of land is exercised and is governed by the assembly of communards, which is elected by traditional authorities (Governors, principal, tatamandones, councils of elders) .
    In the vast rural area of #Acapulco municipalty , flanking a vast area of the papagayo river, there are the communal property of cacahuatepec, an extensive area that many acapulqueños and guerrerenses in general do not know, but which is important.
    And this:
    Which groups are behind all this, just like behind the ayotzinapa case (and the origin of the poprc)?

    They blame many well know names including:

    Amnesty International. One of the most famous ngo's worldwide, funded for years by billionaire speculator George Soros. This ngo has a very questionable history of manipulation and has benefited very specific sectors in the various countries in which it interferes. It's not a neutral ngo at all.
    Marco Antonio Suastegui Muñoz, is named a villain

    1. There has to be UN ACTION... Yesterday....In a weird way, this no action is very telling, about who will go down or lose out, if real actions were taken. There has to be deep ringing repurcussions on big cats on both sides of border, or action would already have been taken.

    2. george soros is more into gold and currency manipulations than hydroelectric projects, isn't it?

  6. Also note that there were no Rojos, Guerreros Unidos, Barredora, CT or LFM attacking the Comunitarios, this is all the federales unmasked.
    Now they will send their Death Squads at night to get even.

  7. Wow this story is really HUGE,a ton more than meets the eye!

  8. Im not saying its proper proceder, imagine being a credible federal agent (on paper) and coming across armed militias full of mostly uneducated farmers. Government employees have huge egos, in the USA an armed militia formed to reclaim land being stolen, the constitution didnt prevent the murder of its leader.

  9. To be a successful long term criminal, it takes lot of support. Money can buy you impunity for almost anything anywhere. Especially in Mexico. In the US, it's more difficult, but if you use 3 basic don'ts it'll help. #1 don't kill cops or journalists #2 steer clear of IRS problems (the worst heat you ever have on you) #3 don't kill innocent people, or frighten the locals
    Easy stuff. But, these morons keep running over their gold egg laying goose...Pure stupidity.

  10. Big Red that's a good policy to follow!


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