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Photojournalist assaulted in Veracruz

(CEPET/IFEX) - Mexico, 25 May 2010 - Juan Rey Casas, photojournalist for "El Dictamen" newspaper, was assaulted by two security guards for a local leader of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI). The incident occurred on the morning of 23 May 2010, in Boca del Río, Veracruz, while Casas was covering the registration of PRI candidate Salvador Manzur Díaz in the local mayoral elections.

Manzur was scheduled to arrive at the local office of the Veracruz State Institute's Municipal Council to officially register for the elections. Dozens of PRI supporters had gathered near the entrance.

Casas was trying to find a good spot from which to take photographs. When he went through the PRI crowd, he was stopped by Carlos Rodríguez Pitalúa, head of the PRI's municipal committee in Boca del Río, who accused him of assaulting the PRI supporters and threatened to kick him out of the area. Two men who were working for Rodríguez approached Casas and started to push and punch him, preventing him from doing his work.

CEPET tried to contact Manzur but was told that he would not make any statements until after 29 May, when his registration would be approved. Any statement issued by a candidate before the official campaign launch may be considered propaganda.

CEPET also tried to obtain Rodríguez's version of the event, but he did not accept the call. The organisation called the PRI leader's personal number (which he had used to call the journalist and apologise) but the person who answered the call said it was the wrong number.

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