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Reporter shot while covering conflict at university

(ARTICLE 19/CENCOS/IFEX) - On 10 June 2010, reporter Ixtli Martínez was shot while covering a conflict at the Universidad Autónoma de Benito Juárez de Oaxaca (UABJO). Medical personnel who treated her said she is in stable condition.

According to information from an Oaxacan journalist, Olga Avendaño, Martínez is an experienced reporter who covers political and social issues, as well as topics related to recent conflicts in Oaxaca state. Currently she works as a correspondent for the MVS radio station.

The offices of the law and social sciences faculty at UABJO were taken over by rival student groups during the week of 30 May. On 10 June, a number of people led by the former chancellor of the university, Abraham Martínez Alavés, tried to expel the groups from the faculty's offices. Martínez was covering the conflict when she was shot in the thigh and taken to a clinic. It is unclear whether the bullet was intended for Martínez, or if she was caught in the crossfire. ARTICLE 19 and CENCOS have spoken with the journalist's colleagues and medical personnel and have been informed that she is in stable condition.

Oaxaca is one of the most dangerous areas to be a journalist in Mexico. According to research by ARTICLE 19 and CENCOS, since 2006 covering movements and social protests has carried an inherent risk for journalists. In 2009, Oaxaca had the highest number of attacks against journalists of any Mexican state.

ARTICLE 19 and CENCOS call on the Mexican government to guarantee the safety of journalists carrying out their professional duties.

(Please note this is an abridged translation)

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