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Reporter Adolfo Caiminagua Herrera detained for taking photograph of police officer

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 25 January 2009, a correspondent for the "Diario de Opinión" newspaper, Adolfo Caiminagua Herrera, was detained and mistreated by several police officers when he was covering the closure of the pro-government Alianza País movement's primary elections. The incident took place in a school in the municipality of Pasaje, in the province of Machala in southern Ecuador.

Caiminagua Herrera was covering the election in the vicinity of the school when he took a picture of non-commissioned police officer Luis Gonzalo Ayala Condolo, who was sitting in the back of an government pickup truck guarding the premises.

The officer did not want to be photographed and demanded that the journalist hand over the cell phone with which he had taken the picture. When Caiminagua Herrera refused, several guards arrested him and took him to the town's police station.

Ayala Condolo wrote an incident report directed to the chief of police, Carlos Julio Chango, in which he accused the journalist of having been drunk and verbally and physically attacking him.

The journalist refuted the officer's version of events based on an amateur video which showed that what Caiminagua Herrera was saying was true.

The journalist was released on 26 January on orders from the chief of police.

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