Reporter Mitzi Torres. Reporter Mitzi Torres.

3 Morelia police suspended after assault of Michoacán reporter

A reporter who says she was beaten by police says that she is afraid of retaliation

The municipality of Morelia, Michoacán has suspended three police officers who are accused of assaulting a television reporter early Tuesday morning.

In a video uploaded to social media, reporter Mitzi Yanet Torres Quintero said she called police to report an attempted rape, and two women officers responded to the call. But when the officers found out that Torres was a reporter, they allegedly beat her and arrested her.

After she was taken into custody, Torres said, a jail doctor refused to make a report of the injuries she had sustained as a result of the beating.

Later, she said, a judge refused to recognize that she had been beaten because of the doctor’s testimony, despite visible injuries to her face.

“I was victimized because I am a woman, but also because I am a reporter,” she said. “I’m making this video because I am very afraid of retaliation from these people.”

After Torres reported the aggression, the municipal police force’s internal affairs department said it was taking action in response.

Morelia Security Commissioner Julisa Suárez Bucio said that three officers, two women and a man, have been suspended until the investigation is complete. Suárez said police are cooperating with investigations by Michoacán prosecutors and the state Human Rights Commission.

“Protecting the rights of people who make accusations against public servants is vital,” said Suárez. “The municipal government is fighting to protect and defend her.”

A report by the National Human Rights Commission condemned the aggressions against Torres, and recommended measures to protect her life and physical integrity.

“Women journalists are vulnerable to institutional violence and revictimization when they report aggressions like sexual violence,” said the report.

Source: El Financiero (sp), Eje Central (sp)

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