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Radio journalist brutally assaulted in Tulancingo, Hidalgo

(CEPET/IFEX) - Reporter Daniel Martínez Martínez, a news anchor for the Ultra 96.4 FM radio station, was assaulted and injured by unidentified individuals on the morning of 11 January 2011, just minutes before the broadcast of his morning news programme, in Tulancingo, Hidalgo.

According to the journalist, the attack took place at approximately 6:50 a.m., just 30 metres from the radio station's entrance. Three men came up behind him and threw him to the ground, hitting him on the back of the legs with a police baton. They then kicked him and continued to hit him while he was on the ground.

Martínez said his attackers never said anything. They did not issue any warnings or give any reason for the attack. The journalist, however, dismissed the possibility that the attack was an attempted robbery as his assailants took nothing from him despite the fact that he was carrying a portable computer and had credit cards, cash and other valuables with him.

As a result of his injuries, the journalist was hospitalised for a couple of days. He was able to return to his news anchor work as of 17 January, but not to his other journalism activities since he was still under medical supervision and was unable to walk normally.

Other media personnel noted that a few days before the attack Martínez had covered a story about a civil suit against Senator Francisco Xavier Berganza, related to alleged irregularities in a property deal and a state government payment of 40 million pesos (approx. US$3 million) for the production of a soap opera. Martínez, however, said that it is impossible to determine the motive for the attack. "We cover so many sensitive topics that it's impossible to know who might have been bothered by something we said . . . It would be irresponsible to indicate that anybody in particular is behind this attack because my assailants never said anything. They never said who had sent them and why they were attacking me," he noted.

The journalist reported the attack to the Public Prosecutor's Office and a preliminary investigation has been opened.

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