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TV journalists attacked during transport protest in Honduras

(C-Libre/IFEX) - 6 February 2013 - During a protest outside the presidential palace on 5 February 2013, some 30 men affiliated with the private transport sector attacked Globo TV journalist Cesar Silva and cameraman Samuel Aguilera.

The journalists were on their way to the station's studios at around 11:45 a.m. and when they saw the protest they decided to stop and film it for the midday news broadcast.

According to Silva, just as he was getting out of his vehicle he heard a yell from the protestors who recognised him and Aguilera as journalists working for an outlet that had criticised the National Transportation Director, Blas Ramos. This resulted in a violent attack by the protestors who also used a car and a minibus to block the journalists from fleeing.

After some time of being attacked, three members of the presidential guard saw what was happening and Silva shouted to them, saying that the journalists were being assaulted and that the protestors were trying to kill them. However, the reaction of the officers was to turn their backs and walk away from the area, leaving the protestors to continue their assault. To escape, Silva had to drive his car into another vehicle that was in the way.

Five hours after the incident while the C-Libre Alertas team was interviewing Silva and Aguilera at the Globo TV station, a man, who turned out to be the owner of the car Silva had damaged, walked into the station with two of the protestors who had attacked the journalists. Franklin Neptali Escoto Cruz, the car owner, was demanding the journalists pay for the damage to his car.

When the protestors saw they had been recognised by the journalist and cameraman, they ran from the building. Escoto Cruz refused to identify the men he had arrived with. Silva and Aguilera are holding him, the two unidentified men, as well as the National Transportation Director, responsible for their injuries and damage to their car.

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)

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