Journalists offered money during coverage of diplomatic event

Journalists rejected the envelopes given to them during a diplomatic event in Tijuana, Mexico. Diplomatic official says it was only a compensation for “lunch”
Taken from the video by TijuanaPress.com
22/08/2017
11:00
Newsroom
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Envelopes with $ 500 Mexican pesos each (28 USD, approx.) were given to journalists during while they were covering a diplomatic meeting in Tijuana, Baja California, according to a video released by TijuanaPress.com and Telemundo television network.

In the recording, a woman, identified as Irma Bennet, coordinator of the Accredited Diplomatic Corps of Baja California, is seen asking the journalists to accept the money, which the journalists refuse to do and then withdraw from the venue.

The Secretary of Public Security of Tijuana, Marco Antonio Sotomayor, also attended the event.

As a response to the controversy, the Communication Department of the Office released a statement, saying “we ask the press to cover these events to inform,” adding that neither the Diplomatic Corps nor the Town Hall perform “those kinds of practices.”

Pedro Ramírez, honorary consul to Ukraine, send a statement to Telemundo in which he declared “it's common practice in this type of events of the Diplomatic Corps, to offer lunch to our fellow members of the press.”

Adding that “since we didn't have the opportunity to share our meal with the press, we thought it was a courtesy to offer them a compensation with which they could procure their own meal.”

The network also spoke with Vicente Calderón, a journalist from TijuanaPress.com, who said the objective behind sharing the video was to highlight the integrity of the journalists who refused to accept the bribes.

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