Crowds attack journalists as tensions heighten in buildup to Peru’s presidential vote

A group of nearly 100 individuals attacked a car driven by journalist Jaime Althaus, who works for the El Comercio-owned Canal N TV, Peru.com reports.

The May 6 attack was repudiated by presidential candidates Ollanta Humala and Keiko Fujimori, as well as by journalism unions.

El Comercio, which is said to support Fujimori, reports that the mob surrounded the car and hit and shook it, while yelling that his station had "sold" its editorial line.

In similar incident against the press, Peru.com says that journalists from Radio Programas del Perú (RPP) were intercepted by a mob that surrounded their car and chanted: “Yellow press, report the truth!”

The Lima-based Press and Society Institute (IPYS) says the attackers were party loyalists of the “Gana Perú” alliance, which supports Ollanta

In this increasingly tense climate, five journalists have reportedly been fired or resigned due to pressure to favor Fujimori. The first round of voting took place April 10, and the runoff between Humala and Fujimori is scheduled for June 5.

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.