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Protestors assault, attempt to kidnap cameraman

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 15 October 2008, Red Telesistema (RTS) network camera operator Germán Vera, was assaulted by a group of squatters when he was covering a confrontation between them and the tenants of Hacienda Mercedes, located in Guayas province, western Ecuador. The journalist went to the area after the state took over the land claiming it was linked to a financial group that owes the state money.

On arriving at the site, the journalist verified the state of tension caused by the conflict between the Hacienda Mercedes tenants and the group of squatters, who were laying claim to the property.

Vera attempted to film the conflict when he was surprised by a group of squatters who pushed him, threw stones at him and attempted to snatch his camera in order to stop him from continuing taping.

The journalist told FUNDAMEDIOS that the squatters attempted to kidnap him, but were stopped by a group of six National Police officers who dispersed the protesters.

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