Mexican religious group prohibits press from entering community

An ultraconservative group in Mexico blocked the press from entering Nueva Jerusalén, a town in the state of Michoacán where a serious conflict is ongoing between secular inhabitants that confront religious fanatics for public education rights, according to the news agency Quadratin.

A group of ultraconservatives founded the Nueva Jerusalén community in 1973, and prohibited inhabitants from reading newspapers, watching TV, or playing soccer, according to the news site CNN México. However, the community recently attracted the public's attention when followers of former Catholic priest Martín de Tours were able to stop the school year from starting, as they oppose public lay education. So far, 270 children in the community still have not started classes, since religious fanatics destroyed the town's elementary school, according to the news agency Notimex.

Before blocking the town's entrance, a group of the secular people threw rocks at journalists from TV station Televisa and from the news agency Quadratin, who tried reporting on the return to classes on Aug. 19, according to Quadratin.

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.