Mexican criminal gang attacks, threatens freelance reporter

Alleged members of a criminal group attacked a freelance reporter in the Mexican state of Mexico on Wednesday, April 18, reported the news site Al Margen.

Three alleged gang members took journalist Óscar Balderas' camera, physically attacked him, and one man pointed a gun at his head, according to the news site Una Fuente.

“Now you are all warned that we don't want you here," said one of the men who identified himself as a member of a criminal gang, reported the freedom of expression organization Article 19.

Balderas is a freelance journalist who covers politics and organized crime for media outlets such as the newspaper El Universal, and the news site ADN Político. After the attack, the journalist filed a complaint with the Attorney General's office and published on his Twitter account: "I repeat my message: In this profession there is no place for martyrs. We, journalists, are more useful alive than dead."

Article 19 said that this is not an isolated incident as other journalists were attacked in the city of Huixquilucan (in the state of Mexico), a suburb of Mexico City. As such, Article 19 called on Governor Eruviel Ávila and Mayor Alfredo Mazo to take measures to protect freedom of expression in their respective jurisdictions.