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Police threaten radio journalist, point gun at his head

(CEPET/IFEX) - Fernando Mora Rosas, a reporter with the news programme "Panorama Informativo" broadcast by the national radio channel Grupo Acir, was threatened by police from the Juárez municipality of Nuevo León, in northern Mexico. The police officers handcuffed him and threatened to kill him while pointing a gun at his head.

Mora Rosas told CEPET that on 15 December 2008, he announced on "Panorama Informativo" that he would be presenting a series of interviews with tenant farmers. The farmers would be talking about how they were approached by local officials and encouraged to participate in a protest in Juárez. The protest was aimed at Congress for its failure to authorise a road-building plan proposed by the Nuevo León governor, José Natividad González Parás, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).

Mora Rosas said that when he left the radio station he noticed that a car was following him. Four hours later, around 5:45 pm (local time), police patrol 115 intercepted the car which was to take him to the Monte Cristal encampment to do the interviews with the tenant farmers. Two police officers threatened him and his companions, Mora Rosas said.

They handcuffed everyone and then forced Mora Rosas down on his knees and threatened him. The officer who appeared to be in charge said that they needed to ask for instructions from headquarters, and he spoke with someone on his mobile phone, said Mora Rosas.

After the call the police pulled him back up onto his feet and warned him: "This is so that you and your people will back down". After saying this, one of the officers approached Mora Rosas, but this time with a friendly attitude and took photographs while telling him: "Forgive us, you must understand that this is our job". However, another police officer continued to aim the gun at Mora Rosas. After the photos were taken, he and those who were with him were set free.

Mora Rosas, along with the news coordinator for Acir in Nuevo León, Héctor Javier Yañez Martínez, filed a complaint about the incident with the State Attorney General's Office (Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado). Mora Rosas also said that he would hold Juárez mayor Heriberto Treviño Cantú and city hall secretary Luis Alfredo García, both of whom are affiliated with the PRI, responsible for any future attack on himself, his family or friends.

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