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Camera operators for state-owned TV station attacked during police operation

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - On 22 May 2011, camera operators Mario Crespo and Felipe Jurado, of the state-owned station Ecuador TV, were attacked and their equipment was destroyed during the coverage of a police operation to control the sale of alcoholic drinks in the city of Guayaquil.

Police superintendent Julio César Quiñónez informed Fundamedios that a man, who has already been identified, damaged Crespo's camera, as well as his cell phone, which belonged to the TV station.

Crespo told a number of media outlets that his camera was snatched from him during the operation and was destroyed by being dashed against the floor."Regrettably, now everybody wants to attack the media, camera operators . . . each time we go to cover a story somebody wants to attack us," he said.

A formal complaint has been filed with the Prosecutor's Office, connected to the Guayas Judicial Police for grievances against the two employees and the destruction of state property.

Diana Sierra, Ecuador TV news production assistant, commented that the five policemen who participated in the operation were not able to provide protection for the journalists and the situation got out of hand.

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