Sign up for weekly updates

Journalist says mayor has threatened her

(CEPET/IFEX) - Wendy Ucán Chan, a reporter for the daily "Diario de Yucatán", has said that municipal police officers have attempted to intimidate her and the mayor of Tizimín, in the southern Mexican state of Yucatán, has threatened her. The mayor belongs to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI).

On 29 August 2009, Ucán Chan attended an event hosted by the municipality to celebrate the opening of a new road. After the event, the reporter approached former mayor Pedro Couoh Suaste, of the National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional, PAN), to ask him if he had noticed any defects in the construction of the new road. According to Ucán Chan, while she and the former mayor were evaluating the quality of the work completed, they noticed that they were being followed by police officers who kept getting closer to them.

"A police officer approached us and told me, 'Be careful because you are being watched. An order has been issued to carry out a police operation and they are going to detain you.' ( . . . ) Another police officer said the order had been given by the chief of police. The former mayor advised me to take photographs in order to be able to defend myself if needed," Ucán Chan said.

One of Ucán Chan's colleagues, Santos Eucan Cano, said a message was left for him at his office approximately half an hour after his arrival. He did not recognise the number of the person who had called and, as such, decided to call back. "A man answered the phone. He did not want to give me his name. He told me that the police chief had issued an order for Wendy and the person accompanying her to be detained because they were blocking traffic," Eucan Cano said.

Ucán Chan noted that two weeks earlier, Peniche Bates talked to her on the telephone and complained about some of the articles she had published, which she said were basically citizen complaints. The reporter said the mayor was very upset and demanded that he be granted an opportunity to reply to the articles or he would go to her bosses in order to have them fire her.

Latest Tweet:

Australia: The gender pay gap is closing in the media industry, but there is still much progress to be made.…

Get more stories like this

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