Update: After President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner asked Reuters on Cadena Nacional that journalist Ricardo Mangano be fired for (allegedly) assaulting an Economy Ministry staffer, State news agency Télam provided additional information about what happened this afternoon.
According to Télam, Mangano took a copy of the budget report from a shelf without authorization (the report would only be made available to journalists present once Kicillof was done talking.) The ministry’s press assistant, Lorena Gómez, saw him and chased him to the press room, where Mangano was on the phone passing along information related to the report. Gómez asked him to return the booklet and when he refused, she tried to take it from him. Mangano, who is bigger than she is, pushed her down and she fell to the floor. She started crying and he left the building. However, the article makes no mention of any “stomping” being involved.
La Política Online also provided additional information about the incident, explaining that Mangano “headed to a nearby bar” to continue reporting the information included in the report. Sources told the site that Mangano’s actions were purely based on the strong competition between Reuters and Bloomberg to be first to report information on the economy.
“In fact – the site reads – Mangano’s boss from Reuters was present during the incident for which the agency denied accusations that he had assaulted the staffer.”
A Reuters journalist is currently the most hated person on Twitter today after he allegedly assaulted one of Axel Kicillof’s staffers in Congress while the Economy Minister was unveiling the 2016 budget.
According to multiple news sites and journalists who were present at the time of the incident, the local reporter – identified as Ricardo Mangano – purposely pushed Ministry staffer Lorena Gómez to the floor and stomped on her in an effort to get a copy of the budget.
Economy journalist Carlos Arbía personally witnessed the incident and said that Mangano “didn’t want to wait until the end of the presentation, like the rest of the journalists do, and brutally assaulted the staffer.”
Gómez allegedly suffered a “nervous breakdown” and had to be assisted by Lower House’s medical team. Sources said she had already pressed charges against the Reuters journalist.
Kicillof and his team didn’t seem to realize what had happened since his presentation continued normally.
Mangano is (at least for now) currently employed by Reuters and is credited (at least for now) with a press pass to attend events taking place at the Lower House press room.
He has remained silent on his Twitter account all day. And he better. Interactions will not be pretty.