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Journalist assaulted by political party supporters

(CEPET/IFEX) - 20 May 2010 - Members and supporters of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI) assaulted journalist Alexis Uicab Panti, of the "Diario de Yucatán", and damaged his camera.

The incident occurred in the early hours of 16 May 2010, a few hours after the kick off of mayoral and Congress elections in the state of Yucatán. Uicab Panti was heading to the Yobaín municipality, near Temax, following reports of an attack on a mayoral candidate for the National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional, PAN). However, he was diverted after hearing of another attack on a PAN candidate in the town of Temax.

When he arrived at the scene, Uicab Panti got out of his car to photograph a confrontation between supporters of the PRI, PAN and the Green Party (Partido Verde) which had already resulted in one person being injured.

One of the PRI supporters, Julio César Aban Miam, told the reporter that his van had been damaged. When Uicab Panti approached the vehicle to ascertain the damage, Aban Miam kicked him in the face and sent his camera and mobile phone flying.

A confrontation between the different party supporters ensued. Uicab Panti continued taking photographs but was again attacked and someone threw a stone at his camera.

He was able to seek refuge in one of the neighbouring houses and attend to the injury sustained when Aban Miam kicked him. Even though the incident was reported to the authorities, no police officers arrived on the scene to arrest the assailants or assist those who had been attacked.

At 3:40 a.m., the journalist went to the Dzidzantun Prosecutor's Office to file a complaint about the assault, his stolen mobile phone and the damage to his camera.

The journalist later told CEPET that the official refused to take down the name of the assailant. Uicab Panti was also told to obtain further proof of the damage to the camera and a medical report on his injuries. CEPET was later able to ascertain that the police were still awaiting orders and that an investigation had not been launched.

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