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Journalist injured while covering protest in Oaxaca

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - On 15 February 2011, journalist Gildardo Mota was wounded while he was covering a confrontation between the National Education Workers Union (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, SNTE) and the federal police. Mota, who is based in Oaxaca, has been reporting on local political issues for more than 15 years. He works with the Radiorama group and "La Hora" weekly.

According to press reports, members of the SNTE, Local 22, were trying to get to the main square in Oaxaca during an official visit by President Felipe Calderón. Photojournalists Jaime García, Luis Cruz and Hugo Velasco also suffered mild injuries during the commotion.

Mota received a bullet wound in the leg. He is in stable condition but under observation due to other medical concerns.

Mota told ARTICLE 19 that there was a lot of confusion during the clashes. "There were numerous police officers, snipers, and a lot of smoke," the journalist said. The medical personnel who took care of Mota reportedly said that officials from the Ministry of the Interior had inquired about the journalist's health. However, no one has contacted the journalist himself.

This is not the first time that a journalist has been injured while covering a demonstration in Oaxaca. In June 2010, journalist Ixtli Martínez was shot while she was reporting on the removal of demonstrators from the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez. No one has been punished for the incident despite promises to the contrary from the then governor, Gabino Cué.

(Please note this is an abridged translation)

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