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Photographer assaulted, other press members treated abusively by striking teachers in Morelia

(CEPET/IFEX) - The following is an 11 July 2007 statement from CEPET, an interim member of IFEX:

Teachers hit photographer and harass reporters

A group of teachers mistreated three photographers in Morelia, capital of Michoacán state, during a protest by the National Coordinating Body of Education Workers (Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, CNTE) a dissident wing of the National Union of Education Workers (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, SNTE), Latin America's largest union.

The incidents occurred on 28 June 2007, when the teachers went onto the streets to protest social security law amendments which have been approved by the federal Congress and are considered harmful by the teachers.

Aramé Campos Cervantes, of the Michoacán-based daily "Cambio", Rosario Salas, of "Provincia" newspaper, and Iván Sánchez, of "La Jornada Michoacán" newspaper, were the photographers mistreated. Campos Cervantes had to be treated at a local hospital, while the others suffered minor abrasions that did not warrant medical attention.

Campos Cervantes told "La Jornada Michoacán" that the teachers got upset when the photographers took photographs of them throwing eggs at passing cars when the drivers complained about the traffic blockage in the city core. When they realized they were being photographed, the teachers chased after the photographers, managing to catch up to Campos Cervantes, who fell to the ground, where they kicked him and damaged his equipment. When two other colleagues - Iván Sánchez y Rosario Salas - came to his rescue, the teachers then turned on them.

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