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Photojournalists assaulted by protesting students, one seriously injured

(CERIGUA/IFEX) - 4 July 2012 - Luis Soto, a photojournalist for the daily elPeriódico, was seriously injured during a confrontation between students and riot police in Guatemala City. Soto was covering the confrontation when a stone, presumably thrown by a student, struck him in the head. Soto received assistance from his colleagues and volunteer firefighters who were at the scene. He was taken to hospital, where he was operated on the following day due to the formation of a blood clot.

The other journalists assaulted, but not seriously injured, were Estuardo Paredes, from Prensa Libre, and Jorge Cente, from Nuestro Diario.

The student protests began more than 40 days ago, when reforms to the education system were announced, to the effect that a teaching degree would require five years of education versus the three years currently required. When the change came to light, students took over several public teacher training facilities in various parts of the country and have since been involved in a series of confrontations with riot police.

CERIGUA's Journalists' Observatory condemns these actions against media personnel and calls on the Guatemalan authorities to prevent incidents of this type from taking place. The organisation also calls on the groups involved in the conflict to respect the work of journalists.

Please note this is an abridged translation.

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