Argentine reporter says he was tortured and threatened by provincial media owner

By Liliana Honorato

An Argentine journalist claimed that a local media company owner tortured him with a cattle prod and beat him in the town of Ingeniero Juárez, in the northern border province of Formosa. The businessman denied the accusation, saying he only kicked the journalist three times, reported the newspaper La Arena.

"He shocked me with the cattle prod and told me he was going to cut out my tongue," said Aníbal Palma, reporter and owner of the radio station FM Genésis. Palma also alleged that he was "followed, shocked, and threatened with death" by the business owner, according to El Comercial.

According to the newspaper La Nueva Provincia, Palma had accused the vice-chair of the local city council of corruption. The reporter was sent to a hospital with "burns on the face and part of the body," noted TN.

Argentina has seen a string of attacks and threats against journalists recently, especially by local municipal governments. The Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA in Spanish) issued a "strong repudiation of the assault" on Palma and called on journalists to "exercise their craft responsibly and respectfully, following the highest ethical standards." FOPEA went on to say that "no expression justifies agression as a response."

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.