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Journalist grazed by bullet during dispersal of demonstrators

(C-Libre/IFEX) - On 30 March 2011, David Corea Arteaga, a Centro de Noticias de Colón journalist, suffered an injury to his face while covering a violent dispersal of demonstrators by national police and army officers in the Planes area, Colón Department.

"When the police started dispersing people, myself and others were covering the incident from a strategic location. The army and police saw us and started to fire in our direction - this is when a bullet grazed my face just above the jaw. The same bullet hit our vehicle and struck a security guard in the head," Corea told C-Libre.

The incident "is an attack on freedom of the press. They knew where we were and they did not want us to record what was going on," said Corea. He also said that the official in charge of the operation was Superintendent Díaz Santos from the Departmental Police Station II in Tocoa, Colón Department.

The demonstrators had been taking part in a community protest organized by the National Popular Resistance Front (Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, FNRP) which had begun at 7:00 a.m. and blocked a road connecting Colón and Atlántida Departments. Minutes later a squad of military and police officers arrived at the site armed with rifles, shields, face masks, teargas bombs and clubs. The dispersal took place around 12:15 p.m. just as the protesters were getting ready to end the demonstration, said Corea.

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