Ecuadorian journalist leaves after 24 hours detention in Panama

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  • Fri, 01/04/2019 - 16:34
Priodista ecuatoriana detenida en panama
  • @GriselB

The Ecuadorian journalist Ligia Arreaga was released today after being detained for 24 hours for allegedly disrupting public order and assaulting a judge of the peace, local media reported.

Arreaga investigated this Wednesday in the western province of Chiriquí, bordering Costa Rica, a charge made to agricultural producers to sell their crops in the presence of a transnational, when she was retained by the police follow orders of the judge of peace, Ulzana Valdés .

Valdés, justice of the peace in the town of Puerto Armuelles, in Chiriquí, argued that the journalist "attacked her" and "invaded her privacy" when she took Arreaga declarations in her office about the matter.

At the moment of her departure from the Puerto Armuelles police station, Arreaga told reporters that at no time she commited any offense against the judge of the peace, published the local TV channel Telemetro in its digital edition.

Arreaga said that this action has been an attack against journalistic work, and also pointed out that Valdés "intuits, or I do not know who gossip it her that I come to do reports here, showing what is happening in this sector".

"Then she has ordered my arrest so that I cannot do my job, but it is what gives us more power and more courage to do it," the journalist said.

The journalist was fined the night of this Wednesday with 300 dollars for not carrying personal identity document, for that reason stayed in jail.

Sanction, which according to Panamanian laws does not apply, given that the amount to be paid must not exceed 20 dollars.

The National Association of Journalists of Panama rejected the sanction and indicated that the identity card could get lost in the struggle between the security units and Arreaga, since they allegedly tried to take her equipment before taking her to Puerto Armuelles prison.

For his part, the Syndicate of Journalists of Panama announced today that it is preparing a lawsuit against the authorities for the arrest of the Ecuadorian journalist.

"We prepared a lawsuit for overreaching of functions, abuse of authority and violation of human rights of the officials responsible for the arbitrary and illegal detention of the journalist Ligia Arreaga, at the national level and before the @CIDH", reported the Union of Journalists in its Twitter account.

Arreaga was out of the country for two years because of death threats against her for defending the Humedal Laguna Matusagaratí, in Darién, the natural stopper that unites Panama and Colombia.


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