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Mayor burns copies of newspaper, detains vendor

(CEPET/IFEX) - On 11 January 2009, the mayor and local police of the town of San Pedro Jicayán, in the state of Oaxaca, burnt 1,000 copies of a newspaper and detained a newspaper vendor for several hours. The newspaper "Noticias Voz e Imagen" had published information that reflected poorly on the administration of Mayor Leonardo Silva Palacios.

While on his way to work, vendor Guillermo Vicente Pérez was intercepted by police, who confiscated copies of the newspaper and some of his personal possessions and detained him.

The directors reported the incident to the police. Two agents opened an inquiry against Silva Palacios and the municipal police for property damage, abuse of authority, illegally depriving Vicente Pérez of his liberty, and threatening freedom of expression.

Ismael San Martín Hernández, the director of "Noticias," confirmed the events and said that the incident would be considered an act of aggression against the newspaper. The newspaper has filed a lawsuit against the mayor.

CEPET regrets that the mayor's attitude contributes to an atmosphere that threatens freedom of expression. The organisation considers attacks on journalists and media outlets to be equivalent to an attack on society as a whole since it jeopardises the right of citizens to be informed.

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