Northern Peru, the most dangerous part of the country for journalists in 2012, report says

By Alejandro Martínez

Northern Peru was the most dangerous part in the country for journalists in 2012, according to a report from the Press and Society Institute (or IPYS in Spanish) on attacks against the press.

IPYS documented a total of 95 aggressions against the press last year, of which 18 took place in the region of Cajamarca and 16 more in Lambayeque. Both regions are located in Northern Peru.

"With this, the north of the country has consolidated itself as the most dangerous zone for free journalism in Peru," IPYS said.

Other 18 aggressions were documented in Lima, the capital of the country (in Peru's southwest coast), according to the report.

The attacks against journalists in Northern Peru have increased in the last two years in part because of their coverage of the conflicts that have stemmed from the Conga mining project, which could affect many water basins in Cajamarca. Many of the aggressions, both physical and verbal, have come from demonstrators, public officials and police officers, the report said.

IPYS added that the number of legal processes against journalists also increased. The organization highlighted the two-year prison sentence against the director of Diario 16, Juan Carlos Tafur, and journalist Roberto More, who were sued by a general and found guilty of aggravated defamation.

The number of aggressions documented by IPYS was lower than the one released earlier this month by the National Association of Peruvian Journalists' Office of Journalists' Human Rights (OFIP), which produced its own report. OFIP registered 136 attacks and other aggressions against journalists in Peru.

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.