On Monday morning, Rodrigo Guevara, and cameraman Roberto Chaves, from NC Once, were attacked by a group of protesters who identify as followers of President Rodrigo Chaves.
This incident occurred outside the Legislative Assembly around 11 a.m., after the victims left the building to continue with their workday.
It seems the group of protesters was demonstrating outside of Congress against the resealing of a bill intended to remove Costa Rica from the list of non-cooperative countries in tax matters with the European Union (EU).
The protesters shouted, among other things, “scoundrel press,” “get out of here, corrupt,” “out, corrupt people from this country,” while they followed them, trying to drive them away.
“Rodrigo is one of the journalists who attends the Assembly daily. At the time of departure, they encountered a group of protesters who verbally assaulted them and were chased by these individuals to their vehicle. In Rodrigo’s case, he was pushed several times, and the vehicle was also hit,” confirmed Paul Ulloa, director of NC Once.
For his part, Guevara stated that they had already been attacked once when they entered the Assembly, but they were not covering the protest, but rather other topics with members of various committees.
“The most outrageous thing was that, despite the presence of the Public Force at the site, they took no action; this, even though they saw that we were surrounded and being insulted,” added the reporter.
Ulloa confirmed that he contacted the press office of the Ministry of Public Security (MSP) and submitted several videos for analysis of the officers’ actions and what happened there.
“What I’d like to emphasize is that this could have happened to anyone else passing by, and they could also have been attacked by these people. It’s important not to normalize this type of aggression,” said the director.
Journalists’ Association Demands Action
In a statement, the Journalists’ Association (COLPER) demanded a firm action from the Government against the aggression of the NC-11 journalist.
“It hurts to see adults, wearing t-shirts representing our country, with our national colors, pushing journalist Rodrigo Guevara and cameraman Roberto Chaves from the NC Once news program; they also besieged the vehicle carrying these journalism professionals, both inside and outside the Legislative Assembly building,” they pointed out.
For COLPER, this is a “direct attack” on the press, and they criticize the police officers for passively observing the events. They emphasized that these are, “again, the same derogatory phrases heard in anonymous posts on social media, which some members of the Government team and the Presidential House have justified.”
“We won’t allow it. It can’t be allowed. Enough with the Executive Branch’s tolerance for digital violence,” they declared.
Finally, they stated that they expect the government to take measures and investigate the events.