Donald Montaño, a cameraman working for Caracol, was attacked and beaten with guns by agents from the police transportation unit, while covering protests of motorcycles taxis in the city of Valledupar, capital of the department of Cesar, on December 21.
The attack took place on one of the city’s main roads, when protesters began to run away after the police made several shots in the air, according to witnesses. The journalist was filming the protest and five police agents tried to take his camera away. When the colleague protected his work team, he was beaten several times with guns. Two other police agents attempted to remove the aggressors. During the beating, the camera’s battery disappeared.
The cameraman was medically examined at Valledupar Clinic and it was determined the multiple blows caused a rib fracture.
The Commander of the Police Department of Valledupar, colonel Luis Javier Velásquez Abad, told to the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP), those responsible for the aggression are currently under disciplinary investigations. He also stated he was deeply ashamed for this kind of events as he expressed he sustained a very good relationship with journalists and even said the police department would replace the lost battery.
The Center of Solidarity of the International Federation of Journalists (Ceso- FIP), called on authorities to judge those responsible of this new attack against press freedom. Ceso- FIP also highlights the outrageous aggressions against colleagues, which have become very frequent while covering protests where security forces or protesters try to hide evident abuses by attacking journalists, cameramen and photographers.
Center of Solidarity
IInternational Federation of Journalists