Sign up for weekly updates

Bolivia police chief threatens TV reporter

Alberto Suárez, the police chief of the central city of Cochabamba, threatened Escarley Pacheco, a reporter for regional TV station ATB Cochabamba, on 9 September after she asked him about his ex-wife's claims that he had subjected her to physical and psychological violence.

After the interview was over, Police Chief Suárez told Pacheco: “I'm going to be following you, watch out for yourself.”

Reacting to the ensuing outcry, Suárez denied threatening Pacheco and said he was just warning her that he intended to take legal measures in response to her investigations into his private life.

Pacheco told Reporters Without Borders that she received calls from the police intelligence department the next day requesting the video reports about the interview and threats that ATB Cochabamba had broadcast.

“Instead of intimidating and threatening journalists, public authorities are supposed to protect all citizens,” said Camille Soulier, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk. “Pacheco was just doing her job as a journalist, and this should not result in her being the target of reprisals.”

Interior minister Jorge Perez has announced his support for the police chief, while national and local journalists' unions have voiced their support for Pacheco and condemned the police chief.

Bolivia is ranked 94th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

Latest Tweet:

Amenazas, hostigamiento, burlas crueles, acusaciones de divulgar #fakenews y hasta expresiones deseando su muerte:…

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.