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Argentine journalist closes his radio station after threats allegedly made by city councilman

After receiving dozens of threatening messages for over a month, an Argentine journalist decided to close the radio station he owned for six years, reported the newspaper La Nación. Daniel Polaczinski's FM station Radio U broadcasted from the city of Aristóbulo del Valle, in the northeastern province of Misiones, added the newspaper.

While the majority of the threats were anonymous, the journalist identified one of the numbers as belonging to the president of the local city council, Luis Daniel Kochen, according to the Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA). Polaczinski was able to identify the politician's cell phone because he previously covered an accident that involved Kochen, reported FOPEA.

Afterwards, the journalist filed a complaint against the councilman. Kochen admitted it was his cell phone number but denied making the threat and asked Polaczinski to drop the charge, reported the website Misiones Online. The journalist refused to drop the complaint, added the website.

The councilman said that he would cooperate with the investigation and denounced the threats against the journalist, with whom he claimed to have a good relationship, reported the website Territorio Digital.

FOPEA demanded the authorities take immediate action to ensure an end to the threats and the restitution of the journalist's livelihood since it is the family's only income, the group said on its website.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.

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