Argentine journalists shot with rubber bullets while covering protest

At least seven journalists belonging to different outlets were wounded by rubber bullets fired by the Metropolitan Police of Buenos Aires at a protest on April 26, said the Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA). Some of the wounded, which included photographers and cameramen, were detained by the police and prevented from receiving medical attention.

The journalists were covering a protest by workers of a psychiatric hospital that was set to be demolished. To put down the protest, the police fired on protestors and members of the press with rubber bullets, said the websites Terra and Kaos en la Red.

The actions of police have provoked a strong reaction from Argentines and unions, which are preparing “strong measures,” said the newspaper La Nación. Journalistic organizations also denounced the attack.

In a press release, the Interamerican Press Association (IAPA) demanded that the mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, guarantee journalists’ safety and freedom to work. “The police exist to fight crime and protect internal order, but not to attack, as in this case, journalists that are working in a place where events of public interest are occurring,” said Claudio Paolillo, president of the Commission for Freedom of the Press and Information at IAPA.

The Association of Argentine Journalistic Entities (ADEPA) denounced the attack and also asked the authorities to clear up the events, find those responsible, and promise to “safeguard press workers in similar situations,” according to a press release published on the website Terra.

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.