Two police officers fired after arbitrary detention of journalist in Argentina

The Security Ministry of Santa Fé province (in the heart of Argentina) decided to fire two police officers after attacking and detaining a journalist and a street vendor, news portal El Litoral reported.

The incident took place on March 26 in the city of Rosario when a police officer attacked a street vendor who refused to provide his identification, news portal Rosario 3 said. Witnesses, including journalist Diego Fiori, protested and tried to stop the attack, the portal added.

As a result, the journalist was detained and taken to a police station where he was forced to strip down and kept behind bars for three hours, El Litoral informed.

Besides being fired, the police officer accused of "irrationally" beating up the street vendor will also face a fine, according to news portal Impulso Baires. The other officer that was fired was the supervising chief of police involved in the incident, the portal added.

The Municipal Council and the Press Syndicate of Rosario offered a press conference in which they condemned the officers' actions, newspaper La Capital reported. A spokeswoman for the Council said that the abuse of authority should not be permitted and added that a "thorough reform of the police force is necessary so citizens can trust them," the newspaper said.

The Press Syndicate presented a criminal complaint before the prosecutor's ofice for the "illegal detention, abuse of authority and hazing" of the journalist, Rosario 3 said. "This is not the first or the last case in which a journalist suffers from actions like these. And, unfortunately, we believe that they will continue to happen since police officers' macho behavior continues to exist and hurt society," the Syndicate's spokeswoman said.

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.