Argentina charges mayor with threatening journalist

  • By
  • September 15, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

Prosecutors in the western city of Mendoza opened a case against Víctor Fayad, the city’s mayor, for serious threats he allegedly made to the news director of MDZ Online via text messages last April, Perfil and Los Andes report.

According to MDZ Online, the threats lasted more than two weeks and were made from different telephone numbers, but they came from the same phone using different chips. The messages contained concrete threats to the safety and life of journalist Ricardo Montacuto. The director and Fayad had been on bad terms for some time, El Sol explains.

Montacuto decided to make a formal complaint, as “it is not minor issue to use state property given to an official” to threaten the press and two former city council members, who also reported receiving threatening and offensive messages. One prosecutor established that the threats came from the mayor’s phone, leading to the charges.

The Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA) praised the decision and said they hoped the courts could successfully find the guilty parties.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.