Bolivian journalist fights back against mayor's insult by alleging racial discrimination

Bolivian journalist filed charges of racial discrimination against the mayor of Santa Cruz after the mayor insulted the journalist, comparing him to a donkey during a press conference, reported the newspapers La Razón and El Deber on Jan. 3.

The mayor of Santa Cruz, Percy Fernández, insulted local television reporter Milton Montero after he asked the mayor about an opposition politician's criticisms, according to La Razón. In prior instances, the mayor has threatened to shoot journalists and insulted reporters for asking him about rising cases of dengue fever in the region, according to the newspaper Opinión.

Lawyer Ricardo Pérez said that the crime of racial discrimination is punishable with up to seven years in jail and, in the case of the mayor, he would lose his administrative position, reported Opinión. On Dec. 30, 2011, local press organizations rallied in a march to protest the mayor's insults, reported La Razón.