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Municipal official threatens journalist in Veracruz over election coverage

(CEPET/IFEX) - On 28 March 2008, Alfieri Belli González, director of the municipal sanitation department (Limpia Pública) in Misantla, Veracruz, Gulf of Mexico, threatened journalist Valentín Campos, who works for "Diario Misantla" newspaper and the online publication "Notiespacio". Campos recently reported that the 16 March elections for the leadership of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolución Democrática, PRD) were plagued with irregularities. Belli González, who was drunk when he confronted the journalist, was upset over the report and suggestions that he had committed fraud in connection with the elections.

Campos's article had quoted Nereo González, a PRD municipal leader, who said that those who betrayed his party in the recent elections were "cynical and had acted shamefully".

Belli González was a member of the PRD before he was asked to take on his present post by Álvaro Mota Limón, head of the Misantla municipality and a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI).

Belli González's threatening comments were recorded by journalists from various media outlets who were present at the incident. He warned Campos to stop criticising him in his articles, or else face "consequences".

According to the online publications "Notiespacio", "Noticiero Veracruz" and "Córdoba al Día", Campos's article never referred to Belli González by name.

Campos has not decided if he will file a complaint with the authorities over the threat.

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