Dominican Republic presidential candidate targets reporters - Channel 16 TV reporter Joahnna Pérez denounced Thursday that the bodyguards of opposition PRD party presidential candidate Hipolito Mejía “roughed her up” while covering his campaign, and becomes the fourth journalist in just three weeks to complain of rough treatment by the ex President’s security personnel.

“I got close to Mejía and wanted to ask him a question, but the bodyguards pushed me, but I insisted and then they pushed me a third time that I fell to the ground, and couldn’t get up because of the multitude. I was trampled,” she said, as cameras from other channels caught the melee on tape.

The most recent incident has now become part of a pattern which has marred Mejia’s image since holding office, when his then security detail chief, then active Army general Pedro Julio Goico Guerrero “Pepe Goico” earned a reputation for treating reporters with aggression.

Recent cases

Two more reporters were “manhandled” by Mejia’s security in the Country Club La Vega Real (central) yesterday, according to news source

Ambiorix Ortega, of TV channels Vegateve, and Pepe de la Rosa, of Platinum, found themselves looking at the barrel of guns wielded by Mejía bodyguards, and affirmed they were physically mistreated, despite affirming that they are members of the party of the ex President, the PRD.

Just three weeks ago, the TV journalist Gilbert Guzmán resigned from the SIN news program, in the wake of a controversy over the release of a video in which one of Mejía’s bodyguards is seen pushing him.

Guzman said he resigned because of comments that he wanted to hide the video, and prevent jeopardizing the former chief executive’s presidential candidacy.

In the National Palace

During Mejia’s term in office, Goico was dubbed the President’s “mad dog” for his aggression against journalists, one incident even led to the firing of a video technician assigned to the National Palace Press Department.


Dominican Watchdog Note: There are many many attacks on and killings of Dominican journalists. Here are the cases reported to the US watchdog:


Journalist of hacked news source slams Police foot-dragging

The journalist Jose Tejada Gomez (Cheo) on Friday criticized what he called the National Police’s lack of response to his denunciation of hacking of his news Website, which in his view is evidence that it isn’t capable of dealing with cybernetic crimes.

In a public letter, Tejada refers to statements by Police spokesman Maximo Baez, who said that more than 90% of the technological crime cases denounced to Police are solved by its Technological Crimes Unit.

The journalists noted that while the Police has detained at least 12 people on charges of hacking the electronic accounts of politicians, business leaders, diplomats, government accounts, media executives, journalists, and prelates, "but the serious case of isn’t in that group.”

Tejada said he formally denounced the hacking of his email account and even his news source’s server to the Technological Crimes Unit, but has yet to receive an response.

“Now I understand better why citizens go to the media to denounce their problems and not to the National Police. I could’ve scandalized with the case, I had the means and the relations, but I decided on prudence, I went to the Police and left the investigation unfold. The result in two denounced cases? Nothing."

The journalist added that the hackers eliminated his main Google account and took over his Twitter account @diariodigitalrd, "so if you look for it the thieves have put it up for sale, while the more than 5,000 subscribers were taken over by someone who goes by the name of @Juddy_slack."

Go back | Date: 07 Jan 2012
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