Friday 24 October 2014

Touchy mayor's backlash 'anguish'

Published 07/05/2014 | 10:12

Santa Cruz mayor Percy Fernandez grabs the thigh of journalist Mercedes Guzman as he speaks during a public event in Bolivia (AP/Giga Vision)

A popular Bolivian mayor has had to make a televised apology for grabbing the thigh of a woman during a broadcast event.

Santa Cruz mayor Percy Fernandez expressed "anguish for this mess that's been created" and said he had not intended to offend journalist Mercedes Guzman.

However, he did not specifically apologise for touching her.

Television images show Guzman struggling visibly to lift the mayor's hand from her thigh during a public appearance.

Several politicians, journalists' organi sations and women's rights activists denounced the 75-year-old mayor and Guzman's husband demanded the public apology, threatening to file a legal complaint otherwise.

Fernandez has run into controversy before for running his hand over a woman's backside at one event and forcing a kiss on another.

Press Association

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