Female journalist in Mexico badly beaten only days after criticizing city government
By RYAN GORMAN
A female Mexican reporter claims she was savagely beaten by government henchmen after writing articles critical of local officials.
Karla Silva, 24, of Silao, was left bloody and bruised September 4 after three men burst in the office of El Heraldo de Leon, the newspaper she writes for. The beating happened only days after her latest article was published.
Pictures posted to social media show the young woman with a massive gash in her forehead and with blood pouring down her face shortly after the attack.
Witnesses claim she was punched, kicked and shouted at during the attack, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
"Three men went to our correspondent's bureau in Silao and attacked her, beating her bloody, threatening her and telling her to stop 'pissing everyone off' with her articles," El Heraldo de León deputy editor Carlos Martínez Vertí told Reporters Without Borders.
El Heraldo, in an editorial published the day after the attack, wrote "On Thursday, after being struck, said he had no doubt that the attackers were sent by an official," according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.
She was eventually put on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital to be treated for her injuries, which came only days after another Mexican journalist was murdered, according to reports.
The thugs had dropped by the office multiple times that day asking for Silva, threatening her secretary and stealing a computer and four mobile phones, Martinez added.
Silva is believed by many to have been attacked for a series of reports detailing a lack of basic services, high crime and corruption in the city of 143,000 about 170 miles east of Guadalajara.
Local officials have blocked virtually all access by reporters to City Hall and mayor Enrique Benjamin Solis (of the ruling Industrial Revolutionary Party) has never granted her an interview, Silva has repeatedly claimed in her reports.
Instead, those running the city have repeatedly complained about her reporting, according to Reporters Without Borders.
Silva reportedly told Mexican television that this attack has only strengthened her resolve, and that she will not back down from her reporting.
"We can not be silent and deny what is happening in our society," she defiantly told ZonaFranca this past Sunday. "That is our part [as journalists], to be spokespersons who may not have a voice in public. "
She also spoke of her injuries.
"I'm still very sore," Silva told the station. "I have a puncture wound down to my skull, which I had sutured. That part really hurts my head.
"I have bruises all over my body and my lips are injured, I can not easily open my mouth."
Silva's beating came only two days after Sucesos magazine journalist Victor Perez was murdered and another newspaper editor's home was shot at, according to Reporters Without Borders. He is one of three reporters to die this year in the country.
Silva is one of 285 documented cases of female journalists being attacked in Mexico since January 2007, according to El Pais. In 132 of the cases, the aggressor was a public official.
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