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Protestors detain, assault and threaten journalists in San Juan Sacatepéquez

(CERIGUA/IFEX) - On 28 March 2008, a group of journalists from television station Canal Siete's news programme "Notisiete" and Telecentro 13 television station were assaulted and threatened with being set aflame by protestors blocking traffic on a highway. The incident took place in San Andrés Ocaña, in the municipality of San Juan Sacatepéquez, 54 kilometres from the nation's capital.

The journalists involved were "Notisiete" reporter and cameraperson Carlos Andrino and Danilo Peñate; Carlos Morales, their driver; and Eduardo García and Rolando Santis, cameraperson and reporter of Telecentro 13.

The journalists were held by the protestors for more than an hour. They were beaten and pelted with stones. The protestors also threatened to douse them in gasoline and set them aflame. Finally, the leaders of the protest allowed the journalists to go free. García was taken to hospital for treatment.

The protestors accused the journalists of complicity with the local cement company to which they are opposed.

CERIGUA director Ileana Alamilla calls upon the country's president to fulfill his obligation to protect journalists' basic rights. The occurrence of incidents such as this highlight the failure of the state to protect journalists so they can perform their work.

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