Journalist and camerawoman assaulted filming Colombia health intermediary

Posted on Feb 21 2014 - 5:08pm by Rico

A Colombian journalist and camerawoman filmed themselves being assaulted by an employee of one of Colombia’s semi-public health intermediaries.

The video shows journalist Johanna Contreras and camerawoman Laura Vargas of CM& television filming the outside of Saludcoop’s Bogota headquarters when an unidentified man approches, attempting first to slap away the camera and then resorting to kicking Vargas.

Contreras alleged she told the man she was going to call the police if he did not stop his attack on Vargas and the man responded by grabbing her cellphone and smashing it on the ground, Semana magazine reports. The two media workers said that the man then broke their camera, but that the video that had been recording throughout the attack survived unharmed.

Contreras told El Tiempo that when she contacted Saludcoop, she was told the man was not connected with the healthcare intermediary. Contreras stands convinced the man was indeed working for Saludcoop.

Saludcoop has faced significant legal scrutiny in recent years. Earlier this month the directors of the health intermediary were oredered to return $700,000 of misappropriated funds to the government.

In November 2013, Saludcoop was handed a $726 million fine for the misuse of funds.

MORE: Comptroller convicts Colombia’s once biggest healthcare intermediary of fraud

Saludcoop was reposed by the government in May 2011 for allegedly funding political campaigns with tax payer money.


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