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The inside of Canul's home after a break-in on Sunday. The inside of Canul's home after a break-in on Sunday.

Journalist who published video of migrant’s murder accuses cops of robbery

Camul says it was retaliation

A journalist who disseminated videos of the alleged murder by police of Salvadoran migrant Victoria Salazar in Tulum, Quintana Roo, last month has accused the same municipal police force of burglarizing his home.

Francisco Canul told the newspaper El Universal that he returned to his Tulum home on Sunday after a trip to Yucatán and found the front door open. The inside of the home was a complete mess, clothes were strewn on the floor and furniture and furnishings were damaged, he said.

“I called the 911 emergency number, and they [the police] took 1 1/2 hours to arrive. A specialist from the state Attorney General’s Office never arrived to attest to what happened. Three computers and three external hard disks were stolen,” said Canul, who runs the online news service Noti Tulum and reports for other outlets.

“… I believe, … I intuit — I’ll dare to say it — that it was the police. … There was a boot print on the door, of the kind they use. No one else uses boots in Tulum,” he said.

The journalist, a 26-year veteran of the media industry, attributed the home invasion and robbery to a police vendetta because he has been critical of the municipal force in his reporting.

However, if the police did indeed burglarize Canul’s home, the obvious motive is his dissemination of the shocking footage of a police officer kneeling on the back of Salazar, whose death was found to have been caused by a spinal fracture.

The journalist said that a person who filmed the alleged police murder on March 27 gave him videos of the incident, which went viral after he posted them online.

“A person passed me the material. He/she said: ‘take them [the videos], they’re yours, don’t involve me.’ So I disseminated them, I didn’t even put a watermark on them,” Canul said.

The journalist has filed a formal complaint in relation to the burglary of his home, while the press freedom advocacy organization Article 19 said that the invasion and robbery are “of great concern” and would have an “inhibiting effect on those who exercise their right to freedom of expression and access to information.”

It described the crime as retaliation for Canul’s journalistic work and the exercise of his right to freedom of speech.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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