In just two days, a wave of attacks and threats against journalists occur throughout Peru

By Liliana Honorato

According to the Press and Society Institute (IPYS in Spanish), between Wednesday, May 30 and Thursday May 31, a wave of journalists were attacked and threatened all across Peru,the majority of them while they were trying to cover different protests throughout the country.

Last Wednesday, May 30, someone with ties to the Construction Union threatened the life of Angélica Castañeda Barbarán, a video reporter for Panamericana TV, and tried to snatch the camera of Analí Castro, a reporter for the newspaper Correo, while the two were covering a man’s arrest in the region of Lambayeque, in northern Peru, IPYS said.

Meanwhile, in the Espinar province, in southern Peru, on the same day, a policeman attacked journalist Carlos Ríos, from Canal N, while he was trying to cover the arrest of that province’s mayor, according to the newspaper La República.

IPYS reported that last Thursday, May 31, also in Lambayeque, journalists from various media outlets “were attacked by people with ties to the Secretary of the Regional Union of Construction, Richard Tandazo Ordóñez.” The journalists were trying to cover Tandazo’s death, who died that same day after being shot by unknown individuals.

That same day, in the Ancash region, northeast of the country, commoner Carmen Shuan, manager of the Regional Coordinator of Communities Affected by Mining (CORECAMI in Spanish), tried to intimidate several journalists from different media outlets during a strike, filming them and photographing them “with the intention of showing their faces so that they could later be recognized by the protesters and eventually be attacked,” IPYS said.

In the Cajamarca region, north of the country, several journalists were attacked “by members of the police and by anti-mining leaders” as they covered the first day of a protest against the Conga mining project, on Thursday, May 30, IPYS said. Journalist Karina Aliaga and her cameraman, from the ATV network, and video reporter Fernando Lino, from Willax TV, were among the journalists who were attacked, according to the newspaper Correo.

Coincidentally, this series of attacks occurred a day after the Latin American Federation of Culture and Social Communication Workers (FELATRACCS in Spanish) expressed its “concern for the situation of Peruvian journalists who are being victims of strange circumstances of judicial persecution and physical attacks.”

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.