Sign up for weekly updates

Two TVC Noticias journalists detained and interrogated after filming official's home

(CEPET/IFEX) - Camera operators Jaime Torres San Lorenzo and Rosendo Alejandro Flores of TVC Noticias were detained on 27 March 2009 and interrogated for 15 hours after filming what is thought to be property belonging to Genaro García Luna, the federal public security secretary, as part of a work assignment.

The journalists were sent to film the official's home to follow up on information published by the electronic journal "Reporte Indigo", which had reported that García Luna had built a house south of Mexico City that is worth 20 million pesos (approx. US$1.4 mil), said Mauricio García García, the station's news coordinator.

"The journalists were taking a taxi to the house when they were stopped once they identified themselves as journalists. The cameras and microphones they had with them had the station's logo on them," said García García.

He added that after they had been detained, the journalists called Miguel Ángel Camino, the station's editor-in-chief, who explained to the police that San Lorenzo and Flores worked for TVC Noticias and that they were carrying out work for the station. Nevertheless, the journalists and their taxi driver were then sent to the federal prosecutor's office around 11 a.m. (local time) on 27 March.

In the afternoon, García Luna told the media that the journalists had been confused with hired assassins. They were released at 3 a.m. on the morning of 28 March, until which time they had been held incommunicado, according to García García.

The president of Mexico City's Human Rights Commission (Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Distrito Federal, CDHDF), Emilio Álvarez Icaza, spoke about the incident during a radio interview and said it was a bad sign for freedom of expression in Mexico.

CEPET condemns the arbitrary detention suffered by journalists Jaime Torres San Lorenzo and Rosendo Alejandro Flores since it was verified that they had been carrying out work. CEPET also maintains that such incidents against journalists and the media represent an attack on society because they compromise the public's access to information.

Latest Tweet:

The United Arab Emirates in 2018 handed down draconian prison sentences to an Emirati activist (@Ahmed_Mansoor) an…

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.