December 12, 2013
Following reports on alleged links between provincial police forces and drug dealingMonday, October 14, 2013
Córdoba journalist denounces De la Sota’s gov’t for ‘lack of support’
Tomás Méndez, the journalist from the ADN news programme who revealed links between police forces and drug dealers in Córdoba province, yesterday denounced a “lack of institutional support” and pressures from different sectors.
Méndez said he was forced to cancel a march he planned to lead on Wednesday because “safety and security conditions were not fulfilled,” the journalist wrote on his Facebook page.
“We’re working with little institutional support, with a lot of pressure and even disoriented at times,” said the television anchor of the local programme aired in Channel 10 of the Radio and Television Services (SRT) at Córdoba’s National University (UNC).
FORCED to call it off
Méndez, who has also denounced the alleged links between local politicians and drug dealers, had organized a “non-partisan” protest under the slogan “Simplemente basta” (“Enough is enough”) that was scheduled to take place this Wednesday. However he decided to cancel it as he felt the “security conditions” were not present to hold the event.
“I hope you understand this setback, but I don’t want to put anyone’s life at risk” the journalist told his followers. “There are one thousand ways to make trouble and we will not risk what we’ve broadcast so far.”
Last week, the FOPEA nationwide association of journalists expressed its concern over the threats received by the SRT journalist and demanded “provincial and judicial authorities” to guarantee Méndez’s “safety and freedom to work.”
Weeks ago, a lawyer called Méndez and told him details of a meeting that took place in the Córdoba City neighbourhood of Villa El Li-bertador. During that meeting, several people allegedly discussed details of drug and firearm “businesses” and one of the individuals present talked about “300 grand to bring this nut down,” in alleged reference to Méndez.
The journalist told his story to the courts and has been under custody ever since, following a request by federal prosecutor Enrique Senestrari.
Senestrari is in charge of the investigation of the Córdoba police drug scandal — an issue well known by Méndez, who has repeatedly reported on the issue.
So far, nine people have been charged, including five officers of the provincial Drugs Unit. The scandal has reached the provincial government of José Manuel de la Sota, who accepted the resignation of Security Minister Alejandro Paredes and Police Chief Ramón Frías.
— Herald staff with Télam