Catamarca’s Security Secretary Marcos Denett has launched an investigation after a photojournalist was beaten and detained by police on Saturday. The decision was announced during a meeting on Sunday morning where Denett met with members of the press.
The incident took place at around 5pm on Saturday, when Luciano Barrera, a photojournalist with El Esquiú, was taking pictures of a car accident at Cuestecilla del Portezuelo with another photojournalist and a driver from the same newspaper.
According to Barrea, the police grabbed his camera, threw it to the ground, and removed his memory card. They then tried to push him on the ground, before putting him in a chokehold, whilst Barrea claimed he couldn’t breathe, after which he was detained for about five hours.
At the police station, the officers who participated in the arrest justified their actions by arguing that a woman involved in the accident did not want photos to be taken.
The Security Secretary has said that a meeting will take place on Monday to define a general protocol in treatment of the media in cases like Barrera’s. Members of the press as well as police and judicial representatives will be participating.
According to El Esquiú, Denett underlined that he needs to know more about the incident before taking measures, but also stated that the policemen will be punished accordingly if it appears that there was excessive use of force.