Argentine journalists suffer volley of attacks and threats throughout week

  • By
  • August 17, 2012

By Liliana Honorato

A slew of attacks and threats against journalists took place over the last week in Argentina. After being beaten, one journalist also received a death threat in the village of Sancti Spirtiu in the province of Santa Fe on Tuesday, Aug. 14, reported the Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA in Spanish).

Hernán García, reporter and director of FM UNO, who recorded the event, had to walk four blocks to find help after village leader Abel Fontenla beat him and put a gun in the reporter's mouth, threatening to kill him, after García tried to speak with the official, reported TN.

On Sunday, Aug. 12, Canal 12 reporter Daniela Abrudsky was attacked and threatened by the governor of Córdoba's press secretary when the reporter asked the governor his "opinion on the conflict between the government and state workers," reported Prensa Red. FOPEA denounced the aggression with an open letter to Press Secretary Fernando Aimaretto.

Two other Argentine journalists were threatened when posters with their portraits reading "gangsters and bribe-takers" were found plastered on the street, reported M24 Digital on Monday, Aug. 13. The journalists, Marcelo Bonelli and Nelson Castro, are well-known critics of the administration of President Cristina Kirchner, who has questioned the professional integrity of both reporters, added the news agency UPI.

These types of aggressions and threats against the press by public officials are common in Argentina. Furthermore, the administration of President Kirchner has been accused of being intolerant and arbitrary, punishing critics of the government, and muzzling freedom of expression in Argentina. Assaults against the press do not stop with public officials' actions. Supporters of the governing political party have also attacked journalists.

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.