Jan. 21, 2016
A photographer was beaten during Mexican independence day celebrations in Xalapa, Veracruz, allegedly by state police forces. Karlo Reyes says he was attacked by ten men in plain clothes wearing lapel pins with a "cobra design." The attack took place on the evening of September 15th near the city's main square were hundreds of residents had turned out to hear the state governor give the traditional "shout of independence." He said the men dragged by the hair, beat him in face with gun butts, and pulled his trousers down. They also took his camera and other equipment. He said the incident occurred after he took photos of party-goers who had allegedly been brought in by the government to swell the numbers of attendees. Activists had called on residents to boycott the event as a protest against allegations of corruption, repression andkilling by forces linked to the government. Reyes was hospitalized with a broken nose. The photographer worked for AVC Noticias, the outlet which employed Ruben Espinosa, the reporter murdered in Mexico City to international outrage in July.
Meanwhile, a student who organized a protest against president Enrique Peña Nieto during the much larger Independence Shout event in Mexico City allegedly "disappeared" for several hours that same night, according to Proceso Magazine. Julio Marcel reportedly reappeared the next morning on a highway outside the city showing signs of having been severely beaten. Marcel had arranged for attendees of the shout to wear letters on their clothing which spelled "Peña Killer."